, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 759–766 | Cite as

The Estonian Mindful Attention Awareness Scale: Assessing Mindfulness Without a Distinct Linguistic Present Tense

  • Riin SeemaEmail author
  • Jordan T. Quaglia
  • Kirk Warren Brown
  • Anna Sircova
  • Kenn Konstabel
  • Arno Baltin


The paucity of mindfulness-based interventions and research in Estonia motivated the development of an Estonian Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Unlike most languages, the Estonian language lacks a distinctive present tense. This provides a potential challenge for assessing mindfulness, a psychological construct characterized by present-moment awareness. We outline the process of overcoming linguistic differences during translation. The Estonian MAAS showed a single-factor structure and strong internal consistency. A cross-cultural comparison showed factorial invariance between the Estonian and the original scale. In an Estonian adult student sample, MAAS scores were invariant across genders and education levels, positively related to subjective well-being and self-esteem and inversely related to public self-consciousness and social anxiety. Item response theory analyses (IRT) revealed seven items of the Estonian version carrying most of the information load. We discuss how translating the MAAS into a unique linguistic context could inform an understanding of mindfulness itself.


Mindfulness Mindful Attention Awareness Scale Estonian MAAS Psychometrics Item response theory 



We thank translators Kristiina Alas and Külli Nõmme. We also thank consultant professor Mare Pork and Estonian philologist Kristina Kask.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riin Seema
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jordan T. Quaglia
    • 2
  • Kirk Warren Brown
    • 2
  • Anna Sircova
    • 3
  • Kenn Konstabel
    • 4
  • Arno Baltin
    • 1
  1. 1.Tallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia
  2. 2.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  3. 3.Umea UniversityUmeaSweden
  4. 4.National Institute for Health DevelopmentTallinnEstonia

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