Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kirk W. Brown

Abstract

Mindfulness – a receptive attentiveness to present experience – has been shown to promote more adaptive emotion regulation (Brown, et al. 2007) and predict autonomy - motivation to behave in a self-directed manner. In turn, autonomy has been shown to predict self-regulation (Ryan & Deci, 2000). This suggests a psychological pathway from mindfulness to autonomy to emotion regulation. To better understand the regulatory potential of a mindful disposition and the possible mediating role of autonomy in healthy adult participants (N = 69), a laboratory social evaluative threat was used called the Trier Social Stress Task (Kirschbaum, et al., 1993). Results showed that mindfulness predicted lower self-reported anxiety but not lower negative affect or endocrine levels. State autonomy during the stressor fully mediated the inverse relation between mindfulness and anxiety. These results support the theory of the emotion regulatory potential of mindfulness, and suggest one means by which this quality may improve well-being.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2009

Included in

Psychology Commons

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