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Examining Mindfulness and Its Relation to Self-Differentiation and Alexithymia

Abstract

Research supports the association between mindfulness, emotion regulation, stress reduction, and interpersonal/relational wellness. The present study evaluated the potential effect of mindfulness on some indicators of psychological imbalance such as low self-differentiation and alexithymia. In this cross-sectional study, a sample of 168 undergraduates (72 % women) completed measures of perceived mindfulness (CAMS-R and PHLMS), self-differentiation (S-IPI), and alexithymia (TAS-20). Results revealed positive correlations between the different dimensions of mindfulness and negative correlations between those dimensions, self-differentiation, and alexithymia. The dimensions of quality of mindfulness and acceptance were mediators in the relationship between self-differentiation and alexithymia. A nonsignificant interaction between gender and alexithymia was found. All mindfulness dimensions, but self-differentiation, contributed to explain the allocation of the non-alexithymic group. These results indicate that mindfulness seems to be a construct with great therapeutic and research potential at different levels, suggesting that some aspects of mindfulness seem to promote a better self-differentiation and prevent alexithymia.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Tamara Alves for her precious help in data collection.

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Correspondence to Ricardo J. Teixeira.

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Teixeira, R.J., Pereira, M.G. Examining Mindfulness and Its Relation to Self-Differentiation and Alexithymia. Mindfulness 6, 79–87 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-013-0233-7

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Alexithymia
  • Self-differentiation