Category: Treatment - CBT
Mindfulness meditation and related practices are increasingly popular with a large number of people and have been incorporated into many western psychotherapies (e.g., Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Although many studies have found that mindfulness is related to healthy physical and mental health outcomes, less is known about the mechanism(s) through which mindfulness (purposeful attention with acceptance) enhances health outcomes. In a previous study we found that among several potential mediators (e.g., experiential avoidance, emotion regulation and cognitive flexibility), only psychological inflexibility mediated the relationship between mindfulness and psychological distress (Maharjan, Johns & Lewin, 2016). The current study is a programmatic effort to test if two core components of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (e.g., psychological inflexibility and commitment to values of life) mediated the relationship between mindfulness and psychological outcomes (psychological distress and life satisfaction). The results of a hierarchical regression analysis revealed that mindfulness, psychological inflexibility, and commitment accounted for 45% of the variance in psychological distress (R2 = .45, F (3, 123) = 33.53, p < 001). Moreover, results of a bootstrapping multiple mediator analysis (Preacher & Hayes, 2008) revealed that the association between trait mindfulness and psychological distress was mediated by psychological inflexibility, b = -.2179, p < .05, [CI: LL -.3519; UL -.1116], but not commitment , b = .0003, p > .05, [CI: LL -.0936; UL .0997]. Similar results were found for life satisfaction. Results have implications for enhancing treatment packages that include mindfulness practices. Limitations of the assessment of trait mindfulness versus state mindfulness will be discussed.