Getting Personal with Mindfulness: a Latent Profile Analysis of Mindfulness and Psychological Outcomes
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Variable-centered analyses demonstrate that most facets of mindfulness are associated with improved psychological well-being. Person-centered analyses provide the ability to identify distinct subpopulations defined by individuals’ full response profiles on mindfulness facets. Previous research has used latent profile analysis (LPA) to distinguish four subgroups of college students based on five facets of mindfulness: high mindfulness group, low mindfulness group, judgmentally observing group, and non-judgmentally aware group. On emotional outcomes, they found the judgmentally observing group had the most maladaptive emotional outcomes followed by the low mindfulness group. However, they did not examine experience with mindfulness meditation, other mindfulness-related constructs, or psychological well-being. In a sample of 688 college students (481 non-meditators, 200 meditators), we used LPA to identify distinct subgroups defined by their scores on the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Using the Lo-Mendell-Rubin Likelihood Ratio Test, we found that a 4-class solution fits optimally for the entire sample as well as subsamples of meditation-naïve and meditation-experienced participants. We substantially replicated previous findings in all samples with regard to emotional outcomes. Further, the high mindfulness group demonstrated the highest levels of psychological well-being, decentering, self-regulation, and psychological flexibility. Overall, our results demonstrate the utility of person-centered analyses to examine mindfulness in unique ways.
KeywordsMindfulness Emotional health Psychological flexibility Psychological well-being Latent profile analysis Person-centered analysis
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Although no direct funding was provided for the present study, the corresponding author is supported by a career development award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (K01-AA023233).
All procedures performed in our study were approved by the institutional review board at the participating university and in accordance with the ethical standards of the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the present study.
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