Specific Facets of Trait Mindfulness Reduce Risk for Alcohol and Drug Use Among First-Year Undergraduate Students
The first year of university is associated with the heaviest alcohol and drug use for young adults. Trait mindfulness decreases risk for harmful substance use broadly, but less is known about its protective role against alcohol and drug use during the first year of university. We hypothesized that specific facets of trait mindfulness (acting with awareness, nonjudging of inner experience, and nonreactivity to inner experience) would predict reduced alcohol and drug use among first-year university students. Given that the same facets of trait mindfulness protect against anxiety and depression (i.e., emotional psychopathology), we expected low levels of emotional psychopathology to mediate these effects.
First-year undergraduates (N = 308) completed online self-reports in a longitudinal study. Facets of trait mindfulness were assessed at the beginning of the semester (Time 1). Emotional psychopathology, alcohol use, and drug use were assessed 4 months later (Time 2).
Results revealed that the acting with awareness, nonjudging of inner experience, and nonreactivity to inner experience facets predicted decreased alcohol and drug use at Time 2 (controlling for Time 1 outcomes). These effects were mediated by low levels of emotional psychopathology.
Our study demonstrates that first-year students who are high in specific facets of trait mindfulness are less likely to experience elevated emotional psychopathology, and in turn, are less likely to engage in harmful alcohol and drug use.
KeywordsMindfulness Alcohol use Drug use Young adults Emotional psychopathology Longitudinal
All authors contributed meaningfully to the conceptual model presented in the manuscript. AS designed the online studies, collected, cleaned, and organized data, wrote the introduction and discussion of the manuscript, and edited the document. EB cleaned and organized data, wrote the method section of the manuscript, contributed to the discussion, and edited the document. EAJ edited the document. MTK designed the study, developed the study idea, oversaw data collection, analyzed data, wrote the “Results” section of the manuscript, created tables and figures, and edited the document. The final manuscript reflects the combined substantial effort of all co-authors and together, we declare that we approve of this submission.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the University of Manitoba Psychology/Sociology Research Ethics Board (Winnipeg, Canada).
Informed Consent Statement
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: a conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 125–143.Google Scholar
- Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Lykins, E., Button, D., Krietemeyer, J., Sauer, S., Walsh, E., Duggan, D., & Williams, J. M. (2008). Construct validity of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire in meditating and nonmeditating samples. Assessment, 15(3), 329–342.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Dvořáková, K., Kishida, M., Li, J., Elavsky, S., Broderick, P. C., Agrusti, M. R., & Greenberg, M. T. (2017). Promoting healthy transition to college through mindfulness training with first-year college students: pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of American College Health, 65(4), 259–267.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Enders, C. K. (2010). Applied missing data analysis. New York: The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
- Feldman, G., Hayes, A., Kumar, S., Greeson, J., & Laurenceau, J.-P. (2007). Mindfulness and emotion regulation: the development and initial validation of the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised (CAMS-R). Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 29, 177–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grant, V. V., Stewart, S. H., O'Connor, R. M., Blackwell, E., & Conrod, P. J. (2007). Psychometric evaluation of the five-factor Modified Drinking Motives Questionnaire - Revised in undergraduates. Addictive Behaviors, 32(11), 2611–2632.Google Scholar
- Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2005). Monitoring the future: national survey results on drug use, 1975–2011. In College students and adults ages 19–50, Vol. II. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.Google Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
- Kaloyanides, K. B., McCabe, S. E., Cranford, J. A., & Teter, C. J. (2007). Prevalence of illicit use and abuse of prescription stimulants, alcohol, and other drugs among college students: relationship with age at initiation of prescription stimulants. Pharmacotherapy, 27(5), 666–674.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kline, R. B. (2010). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Kline, R. B. (2013). Beyond significance testing (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Knol, M. J., Janssen, K. J. M., Donders, A. R. T., Egberts, A. C. G., Heerdink, E. R., Grobbee, D. E., et al. (2010). Unpredictable bias when using the missing indicator method or complete case analysis for missing confounder values: an empirical example. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 63(7), 728–736.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- LePera, N. (2011). Relationships between boredom proneness, mindfulness, anxiety, depression, and substance use. The New School Psyochology Bulletin, 8(2), 15–25.Google Scholar
- Medvedev, O. N., Norden, P. A., Krägeloh, C. U., & Siegert, R. J. (2018). Investigating unique contributions of dispositional mindfulness facets to depression, anxiety, and stress in general and student populations. Mindfulness, 5, 574–588.Google Scholar
- Moffitt, T. E., Harrington, H., Caspi, A., Kim-Cohen, J., Goldberg, D., Gregory, A. M., & Poulton, R. (2007). Depression and generalized anxiety disorder: cumulative and sequential comorbidity in a birth cohort followed prospectively to age 32 years. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64(6), 651–660.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Moreno, M. A., Christakis, D. A., Egan, K. G., Brockman, L. N., & Becker, T. (2012). Associations between displayed alcohol references on Facebook and problem drinking among college students. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 166(2), 157–163. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Murphy, C., & MacKillop, J. (2012). Living in the here and now: interrelationships between impulsivity, mindfulness, and alcohol misuse. Psychopharmacology, 219(2), 527–536.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2012). Mplus user’s guide: version 7. Los Angeles: Muthén and Muthén.Google Scholar
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (2009). NIDA-modified ASSIST-prescreen VI.0. https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/nmassist.pdf. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- Saunders, J. B., Aasland, O. G., Barbor, T. F., de la Fuente, J. R., & Grant, M. (1993). Development of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): WHO collaborative project on early detection of persons with harmful alcohol consumption-II. Addiction, 88(6), 791–804.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Weiss, N. H., Bold, K. W., Contractor, A. A., Sullivan, T. P., Armeli, S., & Tennen, H. (2018). Trauma exposure and heavy drinking and drug use among college students: identifying the roles of negative and positive affect lability in a daily diary study. Addictive Behaviors, 79, 131–137.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Yang, L., Jia, C., & Qin, P. (2015). Reliability and validity of the center for epidemiologic studies depression scale (CES-D) among suicide attempters and comparison residents in rural China. BMC Psychiatry, 15(76), 1–8.Google Scholar