The Structure of Mindfulness and its Relationship with Personality Traits and Emotional Responding
Keywords:Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, measure validation, Five-factor model of personality, emotional responding
AbstractWe explored factor structure of Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ, Baer et al., 2006) in a Croatian sample and its relationship with relevant criteria. In addition to testing of the original and alternative factor structures of FFMQ, we also tested its relationship with meditation experience, as well as some aspects of convergent-divergent validity (relationship with Five-factor model personality dimensions) and its predictive and incremental validity in explaining emotional responses to simple stimuli. In a sample of 244 participants (ages 18 – 68) from a population of university students and general population, we administered FFMQ, Big Five Inventory (BFI, Benet-Martinez & John, 1998), and a measure of emotional responding operationalized as evaluation of different words on valence and arousal/emotional intensity dimensions. The results showed that: 1. Although all FFMQ facets do have adequate reliability, it was a four-four factor hierarchical model, without facet Observe and with one higher-order factor that represented the most acceptable factor solution. A solution with five factors was also acceptable, but without a corresponding higher-order factor; 2. After controlling for all potentially confounding variables, significant differences between individuals with and without meditation experience in all FFMQ facets except the Describe facet, as well as in FFMQ composite, were found; 3. Several low to moderate, expected correlations between FFMQ facets and Five-factor model personality dimensions were observed; 4. Correlations between FFMQ facets and emotional responding were low and, expectedly, larger for negative than for positive stimuli, with direction of correlation being different for different facets and types of stimuli; and 5. The Nonjudge facet showed incremental validity above the Five-factor model dimensions only when predicting the intensity of negative stimuli. Potential explanations and implications of such results were discussed.