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OBJECTIVES: Ninety-seven (97) undergraduates with a family history of hypertension participated in a study that evaluated the effects of a brief mindfulness-induction on cardiovascular reactivity and recovery to two stressors.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants were randomized to either a mindfulness-induction or control condition and were then exposed to the cold pressor task (CPT) followed by the mirror-tracing task (MT). Blood pressure and heart rate were measured at baseline and postinduction, as well as during and immediately following each stressor. RESULTS: There were no group differences in reactivity to either stressor. Participants in the mindfulness-analog condition experienced significantly greater latency to systolic blood pressure recovery following the CPT and a tendency toward greater latency to diastolic blood pressure recovery, although these findings were not replicated with the MT task. CONCLUSIONS: These results are contrary to what was hypothesized and to the anecdotal evidence available regarding effects of comprehensive mindfulness interventions on reactivity. The findings are discussed with respect to purported mechanisms of mindfulness and learning theory.
OBJECTIVEthe investigators examined relations between mindfulness and health behaviors in college students, as well as the role of stress in mediating these effects. PARTICIPANTS participants were 553 undergraduates (385 females; mean age = 18.8 years, SD = 2.1) recruited from a university in the northeastern United States. METHODS participants completed questionnaires assessing mindfulness, perceived health, health behaviors, health-related activity restriction, and stress. Data were collected from September 2007 through December 2007. RESULTS overall perceived health and health-related activity restriction, as well as some health behaviors (eg, binge eating, sleep quality, and physical activity) were related to the Five-Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire and were partially mediated by stress. CONCLUSIONS these results suggest that mindfulness is related to decreased stress, which in turn contributes to increased positive health perceptions and health behaviors. The findings support the utility of mindfulness in promoting physical and psychological health in college students.
Randomized, controlled studies have documented positive physical and psychological effects of writing about traumatic stress. Some of these studies have shown that individual differences play an important role, with participants responding differently to the intervention based on their personal characteristics. In the present expressive writing experiment, the trait of mindfulness was examined as a potential moderator. Seventy-six undergraduates were randomly assigned to either expressive writing (n = 37) or a control group (n = 39). Main effects favoring expressive writing were found, and these were qualified by significant interactions with mindfulness. Specifically, individuals with higher mindfulness scores responded better to expressive writing, experiencing greater physical and psychological benefits than individuals with lower mindfulness scores.
Mindfulness, a construct that entails moment-to-moment effort to be aware of present experiences and positive attitudinal features, has become integrated into the sciences. The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), one popular measure of mindfulness, exhibits different responses to positively and negatively worded items in nonmeditating groups. The current study employed confirmatory factor analysis with a large undergraduate sample to examine the validity of a hierarchical mindfulness model and whether response patterns related to item wording arose from method effects. Results indicated that a correlated facets model better explained the data and that negative and positive wording constituted substantive method effects. This study suggests that the FFMQ measures components that may relate to, but do not seem to directly reflect, a latent variable of mindfulness. The authors recommend against the use of an FFMQ total score, favoring individual scale scores, and further examination of method effects in mindfulness scales.