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Appetite. 2011 Apr;56(2):241-8. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.12.007. Epub 2010 Dec 10.

A cross-sectional investigation of trait disinhibition and its association with mindfulness and impulsivity.

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School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Tom Reilly Building, Byrom Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L3 3AF, United Kingdom.


Two online surveys were conducted to assess the relationship between trait disinhibition, impulsivity, mindfulness and adverse psychological symptoms. In study 1 adult females (n=196; mean age=21 yrs) completed the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TEFQ-R21), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and a measure of dispositional mindfulness. In study 2 adult females (n=190; mean age=26 yrs) completed the same measures as in study 1 with the addition of the Barratt Impulsivity Scale. In both studies it was predicted that mindfulness would be negatively related to trait disinhibition controlling for adverse psychological symptoms. The second study addressed the additional hypothesis that the relationship between mindfulness and trait disinhibition would be mediated by impulsivity. Regression analyses indicated that mindfulness was negatively related to and explained 11% of variation in trait disinhibition (study 1). This relationship was replicated and extended in study 2 whereby impulsivity mediated the relationship between mindfulness and trait disinhibition. The findings warrant experimental and in vivo investigations of the potential causal relationships between mindfulness, impulsivity and eating behaviours.

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