Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of experiences in close relationships with teachers for young children on their depression and to see whether there would be a mediating effect of their self-compassion.
Methods: The subjects were 206 teachers recruited from Seoul and five different provinces who currently worked at the kindergarten and child care centers and agreed to participate in the survey. The data were analyzed by means of frequency, percentages, Cronbach’s reliability coefficient and Pearson’s correlation using SPSS 25.0 and model 4 provided in The PROCESS macro for SPSS 3.4 version.
Results: The findings were as followed. First, the teachers’ degrees of anxiety and avoidance for their close relationships were below the median scores. In contrast their degree of self-compassion was above the median score. In addition, their level of depression was relatively low. Second, both of the teachers’ anxiety and avoidance for their close relationships had a positive impact on their depression and their self-compassion, and there were the partial mediating effect in both cases.
Conclusion/Implications: These results imply that the early attachment experience connecting the experience in close relationships in the adulthood is important and that it is necessary to develop a program to enhance teachers’ self-compassion to protect their psychological well-being.