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Mengya Zhao
PhD Student


I am a currently PhD student in Clinical and Cognitive Psychology Group, school of Psychology, University of Exeter, under the supervision of Dr. Anke Karl and Dr. Natalia Lawrence.

I began to work with Dr. Anke Karl for the Psychology MSc and I started to be interested in the research area of self-compassion. My research project of Master aims to explore the associations between empathy, self-compassion and prosocial behaviour (using questionnaire study design and psychophysiological experimental design). Currently, my research focuses on the protective effect of self-compassion on mental health and the facilitating effect of self-compassion on social relationships in both young adults and adolescents. I am also interested the culture differences between UK., and China regarding cultivation of self-compassion and the effect of self-compassion on social functioning. More importantly, my research would focus on developing a self-compassion training to help adolescents to face future challenges more confidently. Besides, my PhD project would also investigate how family variables, social variables and self-identity influence the development of mental health and psychological wellbeing in adolescents. 

Broad research specialisms

Self-compassion; interpersonal relationship; mental health; wellbeing; social functioning; prosocial behaviour; adolescents

Contact details

AddressWashington Singer Laboratories
University of Exeter
Perry Road
Prince of Wales Road
OfficeWSL 207

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