Mindfulness and Psychological Health Outcomes: A Latent Profile Analysis among Military Personnel and College Students.

Author: Bravo AJ1, Pearson MR1, Kelley ML2
Author Information:
1Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, & Addictions, University of New Mexico, 2650 Yale Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106 USA.
2Old Dominion University, Mills Godwin Building-Rm 250, Norfolk, VA 23529 USA.
Conference/Journal: Mindfulness (N Y).
Date published: 2018 Feb
Other: Volume ID: 9 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 258-270 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s12671-017-0771-5. Epub 2017 Jul 26. , Word Count: 270

Previous research on trait mindfulness facets using person-centered analyses (e.g., latent profile analysis [LPA]) has identified four distinct mindfulness profiles among college students: a high mindfulness group (high on all facets of the Five-Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire [FFMQ]), a judgmentally observing group (highest on observing, but low on non-judging of inner experience and acting with awareness), a non-judgmentally aware group (high on non-judging of inner experience and acting with awareness, but very low on observing), and a low mindfulness group (low on all facets of the FFMQ). In the present study, we used LPA to identify distinct mindfulness profiles in a community based sample of U.S. military personnel (majority veterans; n = 407) and non-military college students (n = 310) and compare these profiles on symptoms of psychological health outcomes (e.g., suicidality, PTSD, anxiety, rumination) and percentage of participants exceeding clinically significant cut-offs for depressive symptoms, substance use, and alcohol use. In the subsample of college students, we replicated previous research and found four distinct mindfulness profiles; however, in the military subsample we found three distinct mindfulness profiles (a combined low mindfulness/judgmentally observing class). In both subsamples, we found that the most adaptive profile was the "high mindfulness" profile (i.e., demonstrated the lowest scores on all psychological symptoms and the lowest probability of exceeding clinical cut-offs). Based on these findings, we purport that the comprehensive examination of an individual's mindfulness profile could help clinicians tailor interventions/treatments that capitalize on individual's specific strengths and work to address their specific deficits.

KEYWORDS: College Students; Latent Profile Analysis; Military Personnel; Mindfulness; Psychological Well Being

PMID: 29430258 PMCID: PMC5800780 DOI: 10.1007/s12671-017-0771-5