Advertisement

Mindfulness

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 368–378 | Cite as

The Meaning and Doing of Mindfulness: The Role of Values in the Link Between Mindfulness and Well-Being

  • Alison M. Christie
  • Paul W. B. Atkins
  • James N. Donald
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

The role of values-based action in facilitating change is central to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy but more peripheral in more traditional mindfulness-based interventions. This paper examined the role of values-based action in the relationship between mindfulness and both eudemonic and hedonic well-being in two samples—an undergraduate sample (n = 630) and a postgraduate sample (n = 199). It was hypothesized that mindfulness would be related to well-being indirectly through values-based action, measured as decreases in psychological barriers to values-based action and increases in values-congruent behavior. In both samples, significant indirect effects were identified from mindfulness to hedonic and eudemonic well-being through values-based action. These studies provide initial evidence that mindfulness effects well-being partly through facilitating meaningful behavioral change. The implication of this finding is that mindfulness interventions may be enhanced with an explicit focus on values clarification and the application of mindfulness to values-based behavior.

Keywords

Values Mindfulness Well-being Acceptance and commitment therapy Mechanisms of change 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12671_2016_606_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (912 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 911 kb)

References

  1. Baer, R. A. (2010). Mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions and processes of change. In R. A. Baer (Ed.), Assessing mindfulness and acceptance processes in clients: illuminating the theory and practice of change (pp. 1–24). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Hopkins, J., Krietemeyer, J., & Toney, L. (2006). Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment, 13(1), 27–45. doi: 10.1177/1073191105283504.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Lykins, E., Button, D., Krietemeyer, J., Sauer, S., & Williams, J. M. G. (2008). Construct validity of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire in meditating and nonmeditating samples. Assessment, 15(3), 329–342. doi: 10.1177/1073191107313003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bohlmeijer, E., ten Klooster, P. M., Fledderus, M., Veehof, M., & Baer, R. (2011). Psychometric properties of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire in depressed adults and development of a short form. Assessment, 18(3), 308–320. doi: 10.1177/1073191111408231.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bond, F. W., Hayes, S. C., Baer, R. A., Carpenter, K. M., Guenole, N., Orcutt, H. K., & Zettle, R. D. (2011). Preliminary psychometric properties of the acceptance and action questionnaire–ii: a revised measure of psychological inflexibility and experiential avoidance. Behavior Therapy, 42(4), 676–688.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Braithwaite, V. A., & Scott, W. A. (1991). Values. In J. P. Robinson, L. S. Wrightsman, & F. M. Andrews (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes (p. 661). San Diego: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Branstetter-Rost, A., Cushing, C., & Douleh, T. (2009). Personal values and pain tolerance: does a values intervention add to acceptance? Journal of Pain, 10(8), 887–892.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822–848. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.822.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Byrne, B. B. (2012). Structural equation modeling with Mplus: basic concepts, application and programming. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Carmody, J., Baer, R. A., Lykins, E. B., & Olendzki, N. (2009). An empirical study of the mechanisms of mindfulness in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65(6), 613–626. doi: 10.1002/jclp.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Cash, M., & Whittingham, K. (2010). What facets of mindfulness contribute to psychological well-being and depressive, anxious, and stress-related symptomatology? Mindfulness, 1(3), 177–182. doi: 10.1007/s12671-010-0023-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chiesa, A., Anselmi, R., & Serretti, A. (2014). Psychological mechanisms of mindfulness-based interventions. Holistic Nursing Practice, 28(2), 124–148. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000017.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Ciarrochi, J., Blackledge, J. T., & Heaven, P. (2006). Initial validation of the social values survey and personal values questionnaire. Presented at the Second World Conference on ACT, RFT, and Contexutal Behavioural Science.Google Scholar
  14. Ciarrochi, J., Fisher, D., & Lane, L. (2010). The link between value motives, value success, and well-being among people diagnosed with cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 20(11), 1184–1192. doi: 10.1002/pon.1832.
  15. Cohen, G. L., Garcia, J., Purdie-Vaughns, V., Apfel, N., & Brzustoski, P. (2009). Recursive processes in self-affirmation: intervening to close the minority achievement gap. Science, 324(5925), 400–403. doi: 10.1126/science.1170769.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Creswell, J. D., Welch, W. T., Taylor, S. E., Sherman, D. K., Gruenewald, T. L., & Mann, T. (2005). Affirmation of personal values buffers neuroendocrine and psychological stress responses. Psychological Science, 16(11), 846–851.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Crocker, J., Niiya, Y., & Mischkowski, D. (2008). Why does writing about important values reduce defensiveness? Psychological Science, 19(7), 740–747.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Dahl, J. C., Plumb, J. C., Stewart, I., & Lundgren, T. (2009). The art & science of valuing in psychotherapy. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications Inc.Google Scholar
  19. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1980). Self-determination theory: when mind mediates behavior. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 1(1), 33–43.Google Scholar
  20. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self- determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Desrosiers, A., Vine, V., Klemanski, D. H., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2013). Mindfulness and emotion regulation in depression and anxiety: common and distinct mechanisms of action. Depression and Anxiety, 30, 654–661. doi: 10.1002/da.22124.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75. doi. 10.1207/s15327752jpa4901_13.
  23. Diener, E., Wirtz, D., Tov, W., Kim-Prieto, C., Choi, D., Oishi, S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2009). New well-being measures: short scales to assess flourishing and positive and negative feelings. Social Indicators Research, 97(2), 143–156. doi: 10.1007/s11205-009-9493-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Motivational beliefs, values, and goals. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 109–132. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135153.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Emmons, R. A. (1986). Personal strivings: an approach to personality and subjective well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(5), 1058–1068.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ferssizidis, P., Adams, L., Kashdan, T., Plummer, C., Mishra, A., & Ciarrochi, J. (2010). Motivation for and commitment to social values: the roles of age and gender. Motivation and Emotion, 34(4), 354–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fletcher, L. B., Schoendorff, B., & Hayes, S. C. (2010). Searching for mindfulness in the brain: a process-oriented approach to examining the neural correlates of mindfulness. Mindfulness, 1(1), 41–63. doi: 10.1007/s12671-010-0006-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gu, J., Strauss, C., Bond, R., & Cavanagh, K. (2015). How do mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction improve mental health and wellbeing? A systematic review and meta-analysis of mediation studies. Clinical Psychology Review. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2015.01.006.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Guadagno, J. L. (2012). The mindful path to valued living: Understanding the associations between mindfulness and valued living (Unpublished doctoral disssertation). Duke University, Durham, NC.Google Scholar
  30. Hayes, A. F. (2009). Beyond Baron and Kenny: statistical mediation analysis in the new millennium. Communication Monographs, 76(4), 408–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (2012). Acceptance and commitment therapy: the process and practice of mindful change (2nd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  32. Hollis-Walker, L., & Colosimo, K. (2011). Mindfulness, self-compassion, and happiness in non-meditators: a theoretical and empirical examination. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(2), 222–227. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.09.033.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Holzel, B. K., Lazar, S. W., Gard, T., Schuman-Olivier, Z., Vago, D. R., & Ott, U. (2011). How does mindfulness meditation work? Proposing mechanisms of action from a conceptual and neural perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(6), 537–559. doi: 10.1177/1745691611419671.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Kazdin, A. E. (2007). Mediators and mechanisms of change in psychotherapy research. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 3, 1–27. doi: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.3.022806.091432.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Keng, S.-L., Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: a review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(6), 1041–1056. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.04.006.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Khoury, B., Lecomte, T., Fortin, G., Masse, M., Therien, P., Bouchard, V., & Hofmann, S. G. (2013). Mindfulness-based therapy: a comprehensive meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(6), 763–771. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2013.05.005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Koestner, R., & Losier, G. F. (2002). Distinguishing three ways of being internally motivated: a closer look at introjection, identification, and intrinsic motivation. In E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination research. Suffolk, UK: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  38. Michelson, S. E., Lee, J. K., Orsillo, S. M., & Roemer, L. (2011). The role of values-consistent behavior in generalized anxiety disorder. Depression and Anxiety, 28(5), 358–366. doi: 10.1002/da.20793.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Muthen, L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (2011). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles: Muthen & Muthen.Google Scholar
  40. Páez-Blarrina, M., Luciano, C., Gutiérrez-Martínez, O., Valdivia, S., Ortega, J., & Rodríguez-Valverde, M. (2008). The role of values with personal examples in altering the functions of pain: comparison between acceptance-based and cognitive-control-based protocols. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46(1), 84–97. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2007.10.008.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Pearson, M. R., Brown, D. B., Bravo, A. J., & Witkiewitz, K. (2014). Staying in the moment and finding purpose: the associations of trait mindfulness, decentering, and purpose in life with depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and alcohol-related problems. Mindfulness, 6, 645–653. doi: 10.1007/s12671-014-0300-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Plumb, J. C., Stewart, I., Dahl, J. J., & Lundgren, T. (2009). In search of meaning: values in modern clinical behavior analysis. Behavior Analyst, 32(1), 85–103.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Rokeach, M. (1973). The nature of human values. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  44. Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(6), 1069–1081.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Scheier, M. F., Wrosch, C., Baum, A., Cohen, S., Martire, L. M., Matthews, K. A., & Zdaniuk, B. (2006). The life engagement test: assessing purpose in life. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 29(3), 291–298. doi: 10.1007/s10865-005-9044-1.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Schwartz, S., & Bilsky, W. (1987). Toward a universal psychological structure of human values. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(3), 550–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., Astin, J. A., & Freedman, B. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 26(3), 373–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shapiro, S. L., Oman, D., Thoresen, C. E., Plante, T. G., & Flinders, T. (2008). Cultivating mindfulness: effects on well-being. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64(7), 840–862. doi: 10.1002/jclp.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Smout, M. F., Davies, M., Burns, N., & Christie, A. M. (2014). Development of the valuing questionnaire (VQ). Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 3(3), 164–172. doi: 10.1016/j.jcbs.2014.06.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Steger, M. F., Sheline, K., Merriman, L., & Kashdan, T. B. (2013). Using the science of meaning to invigorate values-congruent, purpose-driven action. In T. B. Kashdan & J. Ciarrochi (Eds.), Mindfulness, acceptance and positive psychology (pp. 240–265). Oakland: Context Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tran, U. S., Glück, T. M., & Nader, I. W. (2013). Investigating the five facet mindfulness questionnaire (FFMQ): construction of a short form and evidence of a two-factor higher order structure of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(9), 951–965. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21996.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Trompetter, H. R., ten Klooster, P. M., Schreurs, K. M. G., Fledderus, M., Westerhof, G. J., & Bohlmeijer, E. T. (2013). Measuring values and committed action with the engaged living scale (ELS): psychometric evaluation in a nonclinical sample and a chronic pain sample. Psychological Assessment, 25(4), 1235–1246. doi: 10.1037/a0033813.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Vago, D. R., & Silbersweig, D. A. (2012). Self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence (S-ART): a framework for understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6(October), 1–30. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00296.Google Scholar
  54. Van Dam, N. T., Hobkirk, A. L., Sheppard, S. C., & Aviles-Andrews, R. (2014). How does mindfulness reduce anxiety, depression, and stress? An exploratory examination of change processes in wait-list controlled mindfulness meditation training. Mindfulness, 5, 574–588. doi: 10.1007/s12671-013-0229-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Verplanken, B., & Holland, R. (2002). Motivated decision-making: effects of activation and self-centrality of values on choices and behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(3), 434–447. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.82.3.434.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.Google Scholar
  57. Weinstein, N., Przybylski, A. K., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). The index of autonomous functioning: development of a scale of human autonomy. Journal of Research in Personality, 46(4), 397–413. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2012.03.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wilson, K. G., & Dufrene, T. (2009). Mindfulness for two: an acceptance and commitment therapy approach to mindfulness in psychotherapy. Oakland: New Harbinger.Google Scholar
  59. Wilson, K. G., Sandoz, E. K., Kitchens, J., & Roberts, M. (2010). The valued living questionnaire: defining and measuring valued action within a behavioral framework. The Psychological Record, 60, 249–272.Google Scholar
  60. Wunsch, G. (2007). Confounding and control. Demographic Research, 16, 97–120. doi: 10.4054/DemRes.2007.16.4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison M. Christie
    • 1
  • Paul W. B. Atkins
    • 2
  • James N. Donald
    • 2
  1. 1.Australian National UniversityActonAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Catholic UniversityStrathfieldAustralia

Personalised recommendations