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Previous research on assessment of mindfulness by self-report suggests that it may include five component skills: observing, describing, acting with awareness, nonjudging of inner experience, and nonreactivity to inner experience. These elements of mindfulness can be measured with the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). The authors investigated several aspects of the construct validity of the FFMQ in experienced meditators and nonmeditating comparison groups. Consistent with predictions, most mindfulness facets were significantly related to meditation experience and to psychological symptoms and well-being. As expected, relationships between the observing facet and psychological adjustment varied with meditation experience. Regression and mediation analyses showed that several of the facets contributed independently to the prediction of well-being and significantly mediated the relationship between meditation experience and well-being. Findings support the construct validity of the FFMQ in a combination of samples not previously investigated.
The symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) have been characterized as deficits in mindfulness. Mindfulness can be defined as nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness. The present study investigates the theory that, consistent with this conceptualization, the extent to which acting with awareness predicts reduced BPD features and related dysfunction depends upon levels of nonjudgment. In a sample of 223 undergraduates, we calculated the interaction between awareness-based and nonjudging-based mindfulness skills using subscales of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire. Regression analyses demonstrated a significant effect of the interaction on several difficulties that are common in BPD: problems with relationships, emotion-related impulsivity, and anger rumination. For acting with awareness to benefit individuals with these difficulties, a less judgmental stance toward internal experiences may be necessary. These findings have significant treatment implications and demonstrate the importance of assessing mindfulness as a multifaceted, synergistic construct.
Relationships were investigated between home practice of mindfulness meditation exercises and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms, perceived stress, and psychological well-being in a sample of 174 adults in a clinical Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. This is an 8- session group program for individuals dealing with stress-related problems, illness, anxiety, and chronic pain. Participants completed measures of mindfulness, perceived stress, symptoms, and well-being at pre- and post-MBSR, and monitored their home practice time throughout the intervention. Results showed increases in mindfulness and well-being, and decreases in stress and symptoms, from pre- to post-MBSR. Time spent engaging in home practice of formal meditation exercises (body scan, yoga, sitting meditation) was significantly related to extent of improvement in most facets of mindfulness and several measures of symptoms and well-being. Increases in mindfulness were found to mediate the relationships between formal mindfulness practice and improvements in psychological functioning, suggesting that the practice of mindfulness meditation leads to increases in mindfulness, which in turn leads to symptom reduction and improved well-being
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether dispositional mindfulness (the tendency to be mindful in general daily life) accounts for variance in psychological symptoms and wellbeing after accounting for the influence of dispositional self-control (the tendency to be self-disciplined, reliable, hardworking, etc.). A large sample of undergraduate students (N=280) completed self-report measures of mindfulness, self control, psychological wellbeing, and general psychological distress (depression and anxiety, and stress). As expected, both mindfulness and self-control were positively correlated with wellbeing and negatively correlated with general distress. Mindfulness was found to account for significant variance in psychological wellbeing and general distress after accounting for self-control. In addition, mindfulness was a significant moderator of the relationship between self-control and psychological symptoms. Results show that although self-control predicts significant variance in psychological health, mindfulness predicts incremental variance, suggesting that a mindful approach to ongoing experience can contribute to mental health in persons who are highly self-disciplined and hardworking.
The authors examined the relationships between change-based and acceptance-based strategies for responding to negative internal experience (thoughts and emotions) and levels of psychological symptoms and well-being. A large sample of undergraduate students completed measures of their general frequency of experiencing negative affect and intrusive thoughts, their typical ways of responding when these experiences occur, and their levels of psychological symptoms and well-being. Correlational analyses showed that most of the identified ways of responding to negative internal experiences were significantly related to psychological symptoms and well-being, even after accounting for the general frequency of experiencing unwanted thoughts and emotions. Regression analyses suggested that change-based ways of responding add little or no incremental variance over acceptance-based strategies in accounting for lower symptom levels and greater well-being.
The authors examine the facet structure of mindfulness using five recently developed mindfulness questionnaires. Two large samples of undergraduate students completed mindfulness questionnaires and measures of other constructs. Psychometric properties of the mindfulness questionnaires were examined, including internal consistency and convergent and discriminant relationships with other variables. Factor analyses of the combined pool of items from the mindfulness questionnaires suggested that collectively they contain five clear, interpretable facets of mindfulness. Hierarchical confirmatory factor analyses suggested that at least four of the identified factors are components of an overall mindfulness construct and that the factor structure of mindfulness may vary with meditation experience. Mindfulness facets were shown to be differentially correlated in expected ways with several other constructs and to have incremental validity in the prediction of psychological symptoms. Findings suggest that conceptualizing mindfulness as a multifaceted construct is helpful in understanding its components and its relationships with other variables.
ObjectiveThe purpose of the study was to examine weekly change in self-reported mindfulness and perceived stress in participants who completed an 8-week course in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Method Participants were 87 adults with problematic levels of stress related to chronic illness, chronic pain, and other life circumstances (mean age = 49 years, 67% female) participating in MBSR in an academic medical center. They completed weekly self-report assessments of mindfulness skills and perceived stress. It was hypothesized that significant improvement in mindfulness skills would precede significant change in stress. Results Mindfulness skills and perceived stress both changed significantly from pretreatment to posttreatment. Significant increases in mindfulness occurred by the second week of the program, whereas significant improvements in perceived stress did not occur until week 4. Extent of change in mindfulness skills during the first three weeks predicted change in perceived stress over the course of the intervention. Conclusions Evidence that changes in mindfulness precede changes in perceived stress in a standard MBSR course is consistent with previous studies suggesting that improvements in mindfulness skills may mediate the effects of mindfulness training on mental health outcomes. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Clin. Psychol. 68:755-765, 2012
Although self-report measures of dispositional mindfulness have good psychometric properties, a few studies have shown unexpected positive correlations between substance use and mindfulness scales measuring observation of present-moment experience. The current study tested the hypothesis that the relationship between present-moment observation and substance use is moderated by the tendency to be nonjudgmental and nonreactive toward the observed stimuli. Two hundred and ninety-six undergraduates completed the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), a calendar measuring periods of substance use, and a measure of the Five-Factor Model of personality. Controlling for FFMQ and personality subscales, significant interactions between the observing and nonreactivity subscales indicated that the observing subscale was negatively associated with substance use at higher levels of nonreactivity but positively associated with periods of substance use at lower levels of nonreactivity. Results support the use of statistical interactions among FFMQ subscales to test for the presence of interactive effects of different aspects of mindfulness.