Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Kirk Warren Brown

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeff Green

Third Advisor

Dr. Jody Davis


Negative emotions can be challenging to regulate, and for some individuals can lead to failures of behavior regulation. The present study is an initial effort to explore the role that mindfulness may play in fostering effective behavior regulation among those prone to high negative urgency (NU). Eighty undergraduate students were recruited based on their high or low scores of NU. First, participants completed a self-report measure of mindfulness (Mindful Attention Awareness Scale; MAAS), an Emotional Go/No Go task in an fMRI scanner, and then reported alcohol consumption. Results showed that those with high in NU had low levels of mindfulness compared to those low in NU. Mindfulness predicted substance use at the one- month follow-up after controlling for the predictive roles of NU and gender. Further exploration of the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness is needed to better understand its impact on emotion- and self-regulatory processes, especially during difficult emotional experience.


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