Present with You: Does Cultivated Mindfulness Predict Greater Social Connection Through Gains in Decentering and Reductions in Negative Emotions?
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. The current study investigates whether mindfulness increases feelings of social connection and tests possible mechanisms of action and consequences of any gains observed. We hypothesized that, relative to an active control condition, participants randomized to a mindfulness meditation course would experience gains in feeling socially connected. Further, we expected these gains would be mediated by boosts in decentering and reductions in negative emotions and that, as a result of greater social connection, participants would report greater positive emotions. Ninety-four community member adults were randomly assigned to a 6-week Mindfulness Meditation course (n = 51) or a 6-week active control course (“Health Promotion”; n = 43). Participants were assessed for social connection, decentering, and emotions at pre- and post-training. A higher-order latent change model found support for elements of the model that were unrelated to the experimental condition. An exploratory higher-order latent change model found that gains in trait mindfulness, rather than condition, supported the hypothesized model. These findings suggest that gains in trait mindfulness predict greater social connection through boosts in decentering and that gains in social connection predict greater positive emotions.
Adair, KC; Fredrickson, BL; Castro-Schilo, L; Kim, S; Sidberry, S
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