, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 909–915 | Cite as

How Situational Mindfulness During Conflict Stress Relates to Well-Being

  • Heidemarie K. LaurentEmail author
  • Sean M. Laurent
  • April Lightcap
  • Benjamin W. Nelson


Mindfulness has typically been studied within the individual, yet its benefits may be particularly important in the context of interpersonal relationships and managing the stress that arises in these relationships. This study examined effects of mindfulness during relationship conflict on romantic partners’ global well-being and the mediating role of positive/negative affect surrounding the conflict. Adult heterosexual couples (103 dyads) participated in two laboratory sessions, the second involving a conflict resolution task. The curiosity component of mindfulness during conflict predicted partners’ well-being via increased positive affect surrounding the conflict. These effects emerged while controlling for general trait mindfulness, highlighting a unique effect of mindfulness during conflict. No effects for the decentering component of mindfulness or for negative affect were found. Implications for understanding mindfulness mechanisms in positive psychosocial functioning and targeting mindfulness interventions are discussed.


Mindfulness Stress Romantic relationship Conflict Positive affect Well-being 



This research was supported by a Faculty Grant-in-Aid and a Basic Research Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wyoming, both awarded to the first two authors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidemarie K. Laurent
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sean M. Laurent
    • 1
    • 2
  • April Lightcap
    • 2
  • Benjamin W. Nelson
    • 2
  1. 1.University of WyomingLaramieUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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