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In this research we investigated the role of mindfulness-based attention in mitigating possible negative consequences of experiencing depressive affect. A sample of 278 undergraduate college students completed self-report measures of depressive affect, negative cognitions, and mindfulness-based attention. As expected, depressive affect was positively related to negative cognitions, mindfulness-based attention was inversely related to negative cognitions, and the strength of the relationship between depressed affect and negative cognitions was significantly moderated by mindfulness-based attention. More specifically, a simple slope analysis revealed that individuals low in mindfulness-based attention evidenced a statistically significant relationship between depressive affect and negative cognitions, whereas individuals who are high in mindfulness-based attention did not. These findings support the extant literature suggesting that the general tendency to be mindful may be a protective factor against the development of psychopathology and enhance mental health.

The study and practice of mindfulness is rapidly expanding in Western psychology. Recently developed self-report measures of mindfulness were derived from Western operationalizations and cross-cultural validation of many of these measures is lacking, particularly in Buddhist cultures. Therefore, this study examined the measurement equivalence of the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS) and Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) among Thai (n=385) and American (n=365) college students. Multigroup confirmatory factor analysis models fit to the data revealed that the KIMS lacked configural invariance across groups, which precluded subsequent invariance tests, and although the MAAS demonstrated configural, metric, and partial scalar invariance, there was no significant latent mean MAAS difference between Thais and Americans. These findings suggest that Eastern and Western conceptualizations of mindfulness may have important differences.