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J Couns Psychol. 2015 Apr;62(2):106-14. doi: 10.1037/cou0000057. Epub 2015 Jan 26.

The temporal order of change in daily mindfulness and affect during mindfulness-based stress reduction.

Author information

1
Department of Health Psychology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen.
2
Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic disease (CoRPS), Tilburg University.
3
Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion regulation, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen.

Abstract

Increases in mindfulness are assumed to lead to improvements in psychological well-being during mindfulness-based treatments. However, the temporal order of this association has received little attention. This intensive longitudinal study examines whether within-person changes in mindfulness precede or follow changes in negative affect (NA) and positive affect (PA) during a mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) program. This study also examines interindividual differences in the association between mindfulness and affect and possible predictors of these differences. Mindfulness, NA, and PA were assessed on a daily basis in 83 individuals from the general population who participated in an MBSR program. Multilevel autoregressive models were used to investigate the temporal order of changes in mindfulness and affect. Day-to-day changes in mindfulness predicted subsequent day-to-day changes in both NA and PA, but reverse associations did not emerge. Thus, changes in mindfulness seem to precede rather than to follow changes in affect during MBSR. The magnitude of the effects differed substantially between individuals, showing that the strength of the relationship between mindfulness and affect is not the same for all participants. These between-subjects differences could not be explained by gender, age, level of education, average level of mindfulness home practice, or baseline levels of mindfulness and affect. Mindfulness home practice during the day did predict subsequent increases in mindfulness. The findings suggest that increasing mindfulness on a daily basis can be a beneficial means to improve daily psychological well-being.

PMID:
25621590
DOI:
10.1037/cou0000057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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