Intra-Individual and Cross-Partner Associations Between the Five Facets of Mindfulness and Relationship Satisfaction

Abstract

Research has established that mindfulness may be useful to individual and dyadic well-being among both early-stage and long-term relationships. Nonetheless, it remains unclear which mechanisms of mindfulness are most relevant to relationship satisfaction among long-term married couples. Furthermore, although previous research suggests that an individual’s total mindfulness is not related to his or her partner’s relationship satisfaction, we have yet to determine whether any specific facets of mindfulness may evidence a significant cross-partner association with relationship satisfaction. The present study seeks to address these gaps in the literature using the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Data were collected from 164 long-term married couples (M relationship length = 28.30 years, SD = 8.43 years). Hierarchical linear modeling indicated that one’s Nonjudgment of Inner Experience uniquely predicts one’s own relationship satisfaction above and beyond the other facets, and that an individual’s Nonreactivity to Inner Experience uniquely predicts his or her spouse’s relationship satisfaction above and beyond the other facets. Implications for utilizing mindfulness aimed at both intra-individual and cross-partner relationship enhancement will be discussed.

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Acknowledgments

This research was funded by The Ann Sherman Skiba Fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. We would like to thank Lydia Eisenbrandt and Shaina Frank for their assistance in collecting these data as well as the couples who volunteered their time to participate in our study.

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Correspondence to Katherine A. Lenger.

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The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.

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Lenger, K.A., Gordon, C.L. & Nguyen, S.P. Intra-Individual and Cross-Partner Associations Between the Five Facets of Mindfulness and Relationship Satisfaction. Mindfulness 8, 171–180 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-016-0590-0

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Relationship satisfaction
  • Couples
  • Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire