Peters, J. R., et al. (2015), Anger Rumination as a Mediator of the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Aggression: The Utility of a Multidimensional Mindfulness Model. Journal of Clinical Psychology. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22189. Published online ahead of inclusion in an issue. Abstract.
Objectives. Mindfulness training reduces anger and aggression, but the mechanisms of these effects are unclear. Mindfulness may reduce anger expression and hostility via reductions in anger rumination, a process of thinking repetitively about angry episodes that increases anger. Previous research supports this theory but used measures of general rumination and assessed only the present-centered awareness component of mindfulness. The present study investigated associations between various aspects of mindfulness, anger rumination, and components of aggression.
Method. The present study used self-report measures of these constructs in a cross-sectional sample of 823 students.
Results. Structural equation modeling revealed that anger rumination accounts for a significant component of the relationship between mindfulness and aggression, with the largest effect sizes demonstrated for the nonjudgment of inner experiences facet of mindfulness.
Conclusion. Nonjudgment and present-centered awareness may influence aggression via reduced anger rumination. The importance of examining mindfulness as a multidimensional construct is discussed.
Chapin, H. L., Darnall, B. D., Seppala, E. M., Doty, J. R., Hah, J. M., & Mackey, S. C. (2014). Pilot study of a compassion meditation intervention in chronic pain. Journal of Compassionate Health Care, 1(1), 1-12. Full Text.
The emergence of anger as an important predictor of chronic pain outcomes suggests that treatments that target anger may be particularly useful within the context of chronic pain. Eastern traditions prescribe compassion cultivation to treat persistent anger. Compassion cultivation has been shown to influence emotional processing and reduce negativity bias in the contexts of emotional and physical discomfort, thus suggesting it may be beneficial as a dual treatment for pain and anger.
Our objective was to conduct a pilot study of a 9-week group compassion cultivation intervention in chronic pain to examine its effect on pain severity, anger, pain acceptance and pain-related interference. We also aimed to describe observer ratings provided by patients’ significant others and secondary effects of the intervention. Twelve chronic pain patients completed the intervention (F = 10). Data were collected from patients at enrollment, treatment baseline and post-treatment; participant significant others contributed data at the enrollment and post-treatment time points.
In this predominantly female sample, patients had significantly reduced pain severity and anger and increased pain acceptance at post-treatment compared to treatment baseline. Significant other qualitative data corroborated patient reports for reductions in pain severity and anger.
Hofmann, S. G., Grossman, P., & Hinton, D. E. (2011). Loving-kindness and compassion meditation: Potential for psychological interventions. Clinical psychology review, 31(7), 1126-1132. Full text.
Mindfulness-based meditation interventions have become increasingly popular in contemporary psychology. Other closely related meditation practices include loving-kindness meditation (LKM) and compassion meditation (CM), exercises oriented toward enhancing unconditional, positive emotional states of kindness and compassion.
This article provides a review of the background, the techniques, and the empirical contemporary literature of LKM and CM. The literature suggests that LKM and CM are associated with an increase in positive affect and a decrease in negative affect.
Preliminary findings from neuroendocrine studies indicate that CM may reduce stress-induced subjective distress and immune response. Neuroimaging studies suggest that LKM and CM may enhance activation of brain areas that are involved in emotional processing and empathy. Finally, preliminary intervention studies support application of these strategies in clinical populations.
It is concluded that, when combined with empirically supported treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, LKM and CM may provide potentially useful strategies for targeting a variety of different psychological problems that involve interpersonal processes, such as depression, social anxiety, marital conflict, anger, and coping with the strains of long-term caregiving.