Kristin Neff

Kristin Neff

Associate Professor

Human Development, Culture, & Learning Sciences


Office & Hours

Office: SZB 506D
By appointment only

(512) 471-0382 (e-mail preferred)

(512) 471-1288

View Website

Courses of Instruction
EDP 386N Mindfulness, Compassion and the Self
EDP 385 Individual thru the Lifecycle

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Educational Psychology Dept
1 University Station D5800
Austin, TX 78712-1294
UT Mail Code: D5800

Full Vita
download vita (pdf)


My research interests center on the psychological health benefits of self-compassion. Self-compassion is a concept borrowed from Buddhist psychology, and entails self-kindness, feelings of interconnectedness, and mindfulness. I have developed a scale to measure the construct, and have conducted numerous studies on the topic.


University of California at Berkeley            PhD           1997          Education

University of California at Berkeley            MA            1992          Education

University of California at Los Angeles       BA            1988          Communications 

Representative Publications

Link to publications:

Neff, K. D. (2011). Self-Compassion: Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind. New York: William Morrow.

Neff, K. D. (2009). Self-Compassion. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior (pp. 561-573). New York: Guilford Press.

Neff, K. D. & Vonk, R. (2009). Self-compassion versus global self-esteem: Two different ways of relating to oneself. Journal of Personality, 77, 23-50.

Neff, K. D., Kirkpatrick, K. & Rude, S. S. (2007). Self-compassion and its link to adaptive psyhological functioning. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 139-154.

Neff, K. D. (2003). Development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self and Identity, 2, 223-250.

Recent Awards

  • Awarded a Research Grant from the University of Texas at Austin for the study “The Psychological Correlates of Self-Compassion among Adolescents.”

Current Research Projects and Grants

Examing the effectiveness of the Mindful Self-Compassion program

The link between self-compassion and compassion for others

Research Interests and Expertise

After my doctoral training in the area of moral development and my postdoctoral training in the area of self-concept development, my research has focused on self-compassion. Self-compassion involves granting emotional warmth and kindness to oneself when one is experiencing suffering, adopting an understanding, nonjudgmental attitude toward one’s own inadequacies and failures, and recognizing that one's experience is part of shared human experience.  I have developed a scale to measure self-compassion and have conducted several research studies indicating that self-compassion is strongly linked to mental health.  Recently I have developed an eight-week program designed to teach self-compassion skills called "Mindful Self-Compassion." We are currently evaluating the effectiveness of the program using a wait-list control design. Finally, I have written a book called "Self-Compassion: Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind" that is published by William Morrow.