We used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to investigate the relations among psychological and functional outcomes pertinent to mindfulness. We also examined the reactivity of assessing mindfulness using EMA. Unlike past studies, we included a control group of individuals who do not record mindfulness to determine if the very act of reporting mindfulness increases mindfulness over a two week period. We compare pre- and post-measures of mindfulness, mood, and dissociation, assess the interrelations among these measures, and assess daily fluctuations in mindfulness related to changes in stress, dissociation, sleep, exercise behavior, mood and engagement in productive activities.
We randomly assigned 156 undergraduate students to one of three groups: (1) EMA with mindfulness questions, (2) EMA without mindfulness questions, and (3) no EMA. We evaluated whether individuals who participate in EMA with mindfulness questions report increased mindfulness compared both with (a) asking participants to report on the identical experiences with no mindfulness questions, and (b) with participant reports with no involvement in EMA. Participants were assessed at baseline and at 2-week follow-up (see questionnaires below).
All differences reported achieved statistical significance. Preliminary analyses revealed negative correlations at baseline between Five-Factor-Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) subscales and the Brief Symptom Inventory and State Trait Anxiety Inventory for all groups, as well as negative correlations between the Dissociative Experiences Scale and FFMQ subscales and Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale (CAMS) for groups 1 and 3. One-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed an increase in PANAS positive scores F (1,104) = 7.721, p=.006 across groups. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed mindfulness (FFMQ and CAMS) did not differ by group. CAMS scores improved for all participants F (1,116) = 5.251 p=.024, reflecting increased mindfulness over time. Analyses using cross-lagged hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) on EMA data will be conducted to examine predictors of productivity, exercise behavior, depression, anxiety, and dissociation. Correlations between mindfulness and other functional and behavioral outcomes will be examined via HLM.
Our study supports the hypothesis that dissociation is negatively associated with mindfulness. Importantly, and contrary to Runyan et al. (2013), we did not find that mindfulness was reactive to EMA. We will present mixed model analyses on EMA to provide further insight regarding predictors of functional and psychological outcomes in daily life.
Stacy Ellenberg– Clinical Psychology PhD Student, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York
Steven Lynn– Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Binghamton University
James Evans– Binghamton University
Craig Polizzi– Binghamton University
Ashwin Gautam– Binghamton University
Clinical Psychology PhD Student
Binghamton, New York