Collegian help seeking: the role of self-compassion and self-coldness

Zachary A. Dschaak, Douglas A. Spiker, Elyssa C. Berney, Melanie E. Miller, Joseph H. Hammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Researchers have identified a two-factor structure of self-compassion (i.e. self-compassion and self-coldness). To date, no research has examined each of these constructs’ role in collegian professional help-seeking intention. Aim: The current study sought to assess the role of self-compassion and self-coldness in collegian professional help-seeking intention, accounting for other theoretically and empirically-supported help-seeking constructs. Method: Participants included 9349 collegians recruited as part of the national 2015–2016 Healthy Minds Study archival dataset. A logistic regression was conducted to examine the unique contributions of self-compassion and self-coldness in predicting professional help-seeking intention, controlling for key help-seeking variables. Results: A test of the full model against a constant only model was statistically significant, which indicated that the predictors collectively distinguished between collegians who intended to seek help from a professional clinician compared to those who did not. The Wald criterion indicated that both self-compassion and self-coldness were uniquely associated with intention to seek professional help. Self-compassion increased and self-coldness decreased the probability of seeking professional help. Conclusions: The study highlights the importance of self-compassion and self-coldness in collegian help-seeking intention. These findings can inform specific outreach efforts targeting both self-compassion and self-coldness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-291
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to express our gratitude towards everyone involved with the Healthy Minds Network for the collection and dissemination of the participant data involved in this project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Self-compassion
  • college
  • health services
  • help-seeking
  • intention
  • mental health
  • self-coldness
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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