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Relationship between dispositional mindfulness and repressive coping style: an exploratory dissertation

Al Ibrahim, Jamilia (2013) Relationship between dispositional mindfulness and repressive coping style: an exploratory dissertation. University of West London. (Unpublished)


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Mindfulness is a set of cognitive skills that encourage full attention to the present moment, identifying in a non-judgemental manner both physical and mental states (Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer & Toney, 2006). There is much evidence to suggest that higher levels of mindfulness are associated with positive physical and mental health outcomes (Brown & Ryan, 2003). In contrast, repressive coping is associated with negative physical health outcomes that are assumed to result from elevated physiological anxiety in the absence of cognitive awareness. Theories of repressive coping suggest that, in contrast to the characteristics associated with mindfulness, these individuals are not attentive to their inner mental/bodily states, and avoid cues that represent a threat to their self-concepts (Derakshan & Eysenck, 1997). Therefore, it seems possible that repressors may be particularly low in mindfulness and that, if they are, mindfulness-based interventions might be effective in improving their health outcomes. The aim of the present study is to assess whether repressors (assessed with the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, Crowne & Marlowe, 1960, and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Spielberger, Gorsuch & Lushene, 1970) have particularly low levels of dispositional mindfulness (assessed with the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer & Toney, 2006). The investigation was conducted on a pool of 60 (N=60) voluntary, psychology undergraduates and the data was analysed via hierarchical multiple regressions. The results revealed that, contrary to the hypotheses, repressors showed high levels of dispositional mindfulness. The findings can be interpreted considering methodological issues and further implications are discussed.

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