Mindfulness, need fulfillment and mental health outcomes

Bice, M. R., Ball, J., & Ramsey, A. T. (2014). Relations between mindfulness and mental health outcomes: need fulfillment as a mediator. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, (ahead-of-print), 1-11.

From the Abstract. Links between mindfulness and mental health outcomes have been established, but the explanatory mechanisms responsible for these associations are far less understood. This study examined relationships between mindfulness, need fulfillment and mental health outcomes (negative affect and depressive symptoms).

The primary purpose of this paper was to, first, verify the link between mindfulness and mental health outcomes, and second, to better understand and explain why mindfulness is important for mental health outcomes. Specifically, this study sought to examine the potential mediating influence of need fulfillment in the relationship between mindfulness and mental health outcomes. A sample of 399 university students and employees responded to an online survey. Data were collected on personal ratings of trait mindfulness, need fulfillment, negative affect and depressive symptoms.

Results indicated a significant positive relationship between mindfulness and need fulfillment, and these variables were negatively associated with poor mental health outcomes (negative affect and depressive symptoms). Further, it was found that need fulfillment partially mediated the relationship between mindfulness and both mental health outcomes.

Specific facets of need fulfillment (i.e., belongingness, self-esteem, control, meaningful existence) were also explored individually as potential mediators to determine which facet accounted for the greatest variance in the relationship between mindfulness and mental health outcomes. In doing so, this study helps clarify the relations between mindfulness and mental health outcomes. Results from this study extend the current literature of mindfulness and further inform the implementation of clinical mindfulness techniques and strategies.

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