Effects of an Ultra-brief Computer-based Mindfulness Training on Mindfulness and Self-control: a Randomised Controlled Trial Using a 40-Day Ecological Momentary Assessment
- 59 Downloads
This study examined whether an ultra-brief mindfulness (UBM) training can change state mindfulness and perceived state self-control in daily life (primary outcomes), ultimately improving habitual mindfulness and perceived self-control (secondary outcomes). To gain a better understanding of the beneficial effects of practising mindfulness, the study additionally examined how mindfulness and self-control were related to each other during the training.
The randomised controlled trial combined a 40-day ecological momentary assessment with seven weekly surveys. Undergraduate students (Nenrolled = 137, 104 females, Mage = 23.08, SD = 5.04 years), were either assigned to the UBM training (n = 68) or wait-list control condition (n = 69). Primary outcomes were assessed six times a day using ecological momentary assessments (7-point scales). Secondary outcomes were measured weekly (6-point scales). A breath counting task at pre- and post-training was an additional behavioural measure of mindfulness.
An intention-to-treat multivariate mixed model identified day-to-day training effects (group × days-interaction) on state mindfulness (b = .005, p = .001) and perceived state self-control (b = .007, p < .001). A mediation analysis revealed that state mindfulness mediated the training effect on perceived state self-control (b = .001, p < .001). Habitual mindfulness (b = .049, p < .001) and breath counting task performance (b = 2.446, p = .043) also improved with training whereas habitual perceived self-control did not.
These findings suggest that state mindfulness and perceived state self-control may be interconnected in daily life and may be similarly improved through an UBM training.
KeywordsUltra-brief mindfulness training Ecological momentary assessment Mindfulness Perceived self-control Randomised controlled trial
We are thankful to our research assistants Maike Vogel, Julius Welzel, Markus Müssig, and Kimberly Holtz who assisted us in the organisation and the data collection of the study.
ZR: conducted and organised the study, analysed the data, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. MW: designed and organised the study, assisted with the data analyses, contributed to the writing and editing of the manuscript. TK: assisted with the data analyses and contributed to the writing and editing of the final manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.
This work has been financially supported by a scholarship (Promotionsstipendium der Stipendienstiftung Rheinland-Pfalz).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This trial was approved by the local ethics committee at the Institute of Psychology at the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany (2015-JGU-psychEK-011).
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
- Auerbach, R. P., Alonso, J., Axinn, W. G., Cuijpers, P., Ebert, D. D., Green, J. G., et al. (2016). Mental disorders among college students in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. Psychological Medicine, 46(14), 2955–2970. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291716001665.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Baumeister, R. F., Heatherton, T. F., & Tice, D. M. (1994). Losing control: how and why people fail at self-regulation. San Diego: Academic Press, Inc.Google Scholar
- Bertrams, A., & Dickhäuser, O. (2009). Messung dispositioneller Selbstkontroll-Kapazität Eine deutsche Adaptation der Kurzform der Self-Control Scale (SCS-K-D) [Measuring dispositional self-control capacity. A German adaptation of the short form of the Self-Control Scale (SCS-K-D)]. Diagnostica, 55(1), 2–10. https://doi.org/10.1026/0012-1918.104.22.168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bertrams, A., Unger, A., & Dickhäuser, O. (2011). Momentan verfügbare Selbstkontrollkraft – Vorstellung eines Messinstruments und erste Befunde aus pädagogisch-psychologischen Kontexten [Momentarily Available Self-Control Strength – Introduction of a Measure and First Findings from Educational- Psychological Contexts]. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 25(3), 185–196. https://doi.org/10.1024/1010-0652/a000042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Canby, N. K., Cameron, I. M., Calhoun, A. T., & Buchanan, G. M. (2015). A brief mindfulness intervention for healthy college students and its effects on psychological distress, self-control, meta-mood, and subjective vitality. Mindfulness, 6(5), 1071–1081. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-014-0356-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Carmody, J., & Baer, R. A. (2008). Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 31, 23–33. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-007-9130-7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Carter, E. C., Kofler, L. M., Forster, D. E., & McCullough, M. E. (2015). A series of meta-analytic tests of the depletion effect: Self-control does not seem to rely on a limited resource. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(4), 796–815. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000083.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chakraborty, H., & Gu, H. (2009). A mixed model approach for intent-to-treat analysis in longitudinal clinical trials with missing values. (RTI Press Publication No. MR-0009-0903). Research Triangle Park: RTI Press. https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2009.mr.0009.0903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ciarocco, N. J., Twenge, J. M., Muraven, M., & Tice, D. M. (2007). Measuring state self-control: Reliability, validity, and correlations with physical and psychological stress. Unpublished manuscript, Monmouth University, NJ, USA.Google Scholar
- de Ridder, D. T. D., Lensvelt-Mulders, G., Finkenauer, C., Stok, F. M., & Baumeister, R. F. (2012). Taking stock of self-control: a meta-analysis of how trait self-control relates to a wide range of behaviors. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 16(1), 76–99. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868311418749.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1980). Self-determination theory: when mind mediates behavior. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 1(1), 33–43.Google Scholar
- Demarzo, M., Montero-Marin, J., Puebla-Guedea, M., Navarro-Gil, M., Herrera-Mercadal, P., Moreno- González, S., et al. (2017). Efficacy of 8- and 4-session mindfulness-based interventions in a non-clinical population: a controlled study. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1343. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01343.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Holm, S. (1979). A simple sequentially rejective multiple test procedure. Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, 6(2), 65–70.Google Scholar
- John, O. P., Donahue, E. M., & Kentle, R. L. (1991). The Big Five Inventory--Versions 4a and 54. Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Personality and Social Research.Google Scholar
- Josefsson, T., Lindwall, M., & Broberg, A. G. (2014). The effects of a short-term mindfulness based intervention on self-reported mindfulness, decentering, executive attention, psychological health, and coping style: examining unique mindfulness effects and mediators. Mindfulness, 5(1), 18–35. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-012-0142-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Dell.Google Scholar
- Lang, F. R., Lüdtke, O., & Asendorpf, J. B. (2001). Testgüte und psychometrische Äquivalenz der deutschen Version des Big Five Inventory (BFI) bei jungen, mittelalten und alten Erwachsenen [Validity and psychometric equivalence of the German version of the Big Five Inventory in young, middle-aged and old adults]. Diagnostica, 47(3), 111–121. https://doi.org/10.1026//0012-1922.214.171.124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Linehan, M. M. (1993). Diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Michalak, J., Heidenreich, T., Ströhle, G., & Nachtigall, C. (2008). Die deutsche Version der Mindful Attention and Awareness Scale (MAAS): Psychometrische Befunde zu einem Achtsamkeitsfragebogen [German version of the Mindful Attention an Awareness Scale (MAAS)—Psychometric features of a mindfulness questionnaire]. Zeitschrift für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie: Forschung und Praxis, 37(3), 200–208. https://doi.org/10.1026/1616-34126.96.36.199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rowland, Z., Wenzel, M., & Kubiak, T. (2016). The effects of computer-based mindfulness training on self-control and mindfulness within ambulatorily assessed network systems across health-related domains in a healthy student population (SMASH): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 17, 570. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-016-1707-4.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Ruscio, A. C., Muench, C., Brede, E., MacIntyre, J., & Waters, A. J. (2016). Administration and assessment of brief mindfulness practice in the field: a feasibility study using ecological momentary assessment. Mindfulness, 7(4), 988–999. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-016-0538-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2002). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: A new approach to preventing relapse. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Shrout, P. E., & Lane, S. P. (2012). Psychometrics. In M. R. Mehl & T. S. Conner (Eds.), Handbook of research methods for studying daily life (pp. 302–321). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Trull, T. J., & Ebner-Priemer, U. (2013). Ambulatory assessment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 9, 151–176. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-050212-185510.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar