The structure of the mindfulness construct: Awareness and acceptance of experience
Abstract: Mindfulness experienced a strong upswing in the last two decades in psychology and related disciplines, but relatively little research focused on the structure of the construct. The aim of this article is to present, compare, and critically examine different types of models of the mindfulness construct. Unidimensional models conceptualize mindfulness merely as an individual’s awareness of their current experience. Bidimensional models of mindfulness include awareness of current experience and acceptance of that experience. In multidimensional models, mindfulness is conceptualized as a construct composed of three or more factors. The problem of unidimensional models is that they do not define the quality of awareness, as sometimes individual’s self-awareness may be counterproductive (e.g., excessively self-critical). Multidimensional models are problematic due to considerable overlaps of factors and the inclusion of phenomena that may not be integral parts of the mindfulness construct. The most appropriate may thus be bidimensional models of mindfulness which seem to be sufficiently concise and at the same time capture the content of the construct on a sufficient level of complexity.
Keywords: mindfulness, awareness, acceptance, non-judgment, factor structure
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