Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 3569–3580 | Cite as

Mindfulness Skills and Psychological Inflexibility: Two Useful Tools for a Clinical Assessment for Adolescents with Internalizing Behaviors

  • Annalisa OppoEmail author
  • Marta Schweiger
  • Arianna Ristallo
  • Giovambattista Presti
  • Francesca Pergolizzi
  • Paolo Moderato
Original Paper



Two processes that have been largely studied in relation to psychological wellbeing during adolescence are mindfulness and psychological flexibility. Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure (CAMM) and Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (AFQ-Y) are specifically developed for children and adolescents and their items are built to assess specific processes. This study aims to identify cut-offs detecting adolescents with internalizing disorders, and describing specific behavioral repertoires within participants with high Psychological Inflexibility and poor Mindfulness Skills.


Participants (N = 1336), aged between 11 and 18, were recruited. Participants completed the Italian versions of CAMM, AFQ-Y, and Youth Self-Report (YSR). To determine the cut-offs for CAMM and AFQ-Y discriminating participants with internalizing disorders two receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were performed. Furthermore, to identify homogeneous groups with specific behavioral repertoires two Classification Tree Analyses (CTA) were performed.


The cut-offs identified are 24 for the CAMM, and 11 for the AFQ-Y. The CTA showed that low Mindfulness Skills and Psychological Inflexibility share a specific feature: namely, depressive symptoms. However, social withdrawal seems to be associated only with low Mindfulness Skills, while somatic symptoms seems to be associated only with Psychological Inflexibility.


The potential uses of the CAMM and AFQ-Y in research and clinical practice are drawn. CAMM and AFQ-Y are short and simple measures that make them accessible in a school-based primary prevention setting.


Mindfulness Transdiagnostic assessment Adolescence Internalizing disorders Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) 



The authors acknowledge the valuable help of Antonella Beneficio, Sara Della Morte, Francesca Fantasia, Annalisa Pieri, Silvia Porcari, Luisa Rolfi, Ilaria Segalini, Flavia Giunta, Cristina Rizzo, Cettina Messina, Martina Leuzzi, Paola Stracquadanio. They are also grateful to the schools, headmasters, students, and families who welcomed them during their research activities.

Author Contributions

A.O. collaborated with the design of the study, analyzed the data, and wrote the paper. M.S. collaborated with the design, executed the study, and writing of the study. A.R. collaborated with the design, executed the study, assisted with the data analyses and wrote part of the results. G.P. and F.P. collaborated with the design and writing of the study. P.M. collaborated with the design, and editing of the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sigmund Freud University—SFUMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Europeo per lo Studio del Comportamento Umano—IESCUMMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Università KoreEnnaItaly
  4. 4.Università IULMMilanoItaly

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