Advertisement

Attachments, dispositional mindfulness, and psychological distress: A mediation analysis

  • Xinjie Chen
  • Jinbo He
  • Xitao Fan
  • Zhihui Cai
Article
  • 26 Downloads

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship among parent and peer attachments, dispositional mindfulness, and psychological distress, and tested the mediating role of dispositional mindfulness between attachments and psychological distress. A sample of 938 Chinese secondary school students participated in the study. Results showed that: (a) both attachments and dispositional mindfulness were negatively associated with psychological distress; (b) dispositional mindfulness could partially mediate the relations between attachments and psychological distress; (c) the mediation effect from parent attachment through mindfulness to psychological distress was stronger than that from peer attachment. The results suggest that attachment, especially parent attachment, is helpful in enhancing students’ dispositional mindfulness, which in turn reduces psychological distress in secondary school students. Some implications about how to enhance attachment and reduce psychological distress through mindfulness were discussed.

Keywords

Attachment Mindfulness Psychological distress Chinese students Secondary school 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

No conflicts of interest among authors.

Ethnic Approval

This study was approved by the ethnical department from the university of the first author.

References

  1. Armsden, G. C., & Greenberg, M. T. (1987). The inventory of parent and peer attachment: Individual differences and their relationship to psychological well-being in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 16(5), 427–454.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02202939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Hopkins, J., Krietemeyer, J., & Toney, L. (2006). Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment, 13(1), 27–45.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191105283504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bajaba, S., Fuller, B., Marler, L., & Bajaba, A. (2018). Does mindfulness enhance the beneficial outcomes that accrue to employees with proactive personalities? Current Psychology.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-9995-3.
  4. Barnhofer, T., Duggan, D. S., & Griffith, J. W. (2011). Dispositional mindfulness moderates the relation between neuroticism and depressive symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 51(8), 958–962.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.07.032.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss: Vol. 2. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  6. Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss: Retrospect and prospect. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 52(4), 664–678.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-0025.1982.tb01456.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brenning, K. M., Soenens, B., Braet, C., & Bosmans, G. (2012). Attachment and depressive symptoms in middle childhood and early adolescence: Testing the validity of the emotion regulation model of attachment. Personal Relationships, 19(3), 445–464.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2011.01372.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brooks, T. L., Harris, S. K., Thrall, J. S., & Woods, E. R. (2002). Association of adolescent risk behaviors with mental health symptoms in high school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31(3), 240–246.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00385-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822–848.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen, X., Cheung, H. Y., Fan, X., & Wu, J. (2018). Factors related to resilience of academically gifted students in the chinese cultural and educational environment. Psychology in the Schools, 55(2), 107–119.  https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.22044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Christopher, M. S., & Gilbert, B. D. (2010). Incremental validity of components of mindfulness in the prediction of satisfaction with life and depression. Current Psychology, 29(1), 10–23.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-009-9067-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cohen, J. R., Andrews, A. R., Davis, M. M., & Rudolph, K. D. (2017). Anxiety and depression during childhood and adolescence: Testing theoretical models of continuity and discontinuity. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 46, 1–14.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-017-0370-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cooper, M. L., Shaver, P. R., & Collins, N. L. (1998). Attachment styles, emotion regulation, and adjustment in adolescence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(5), 1380–1397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cordon, S. L., Brown, K. W., & Gibson, P. R. (2009). The role of mindfulness-based stress reduction on perceived stress: Preliminary evidence for the moderating role of attachment style. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23(3), 258–269.  https://doi.org/10.1891/0889-8391.23.3.258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cripps, K., & Zyromski, B. (2009). Adolescents’ psychological well-being and perceived parental involvement: Implications for parental involvement in middle schools. RMLE Online, 33(4), 1–13.  https://doi.org/10.1080/19404476.2009.11462067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. DiClemente, R. J., Wingood, G. M., Crosby, R. A., Sionean, C., Brown, L. K., Rothbaum, B., Zimand, E., Cobb, B. K., Harrington, K., & Davies, S. (2001). A prospective study of psychological distress and sexual risk behavior among black adolescent females. Pediatrics, 108(5), e85–e85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A. G., & Buchner, A. (2007). G*power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39, 175–191.  https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03193146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Feltman, R., Robinson, M. D., & Ode, S. (2009). Mindfulness as a moderator of neuroticism–outcome relations: A self-regulation perspective. Journal of Research in Personality, 43(6), 953–961.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2009.08.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Flouri, E., & Buchanan, A. (2003). The role of father involvement and mother involvement in adolescents' psychological well-being. British Journal of Social Work, 33(3), 399–406.  https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/33.3.399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56(3), 218–226.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.56.3.218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fredrickson, B. L., Tugade, M. M., Waugh, C. E., & Larkin, G. R. (2003). What good are positive emotions in crisis? A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 365–376.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J., & Finkel, S. M. (2008). Open hearts build lives: Positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1045–1062.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013262.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Frey, L. L., Beesley, D., & Miller, M. R. (2006). Relational health, attachment, and psychological distress in college women and men. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30(3), 303–311.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.2006.00298.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ghorbani, N., Watson, P. J., & Weathington, B. L. (2009). Mindfulness in Iran and the United States: Cross-cultural structural complexity and parallel relationships with psychological adjustment. Current Psychology, 28(4), 211–224.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-009-9060-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gong, X., Xie, X.-y., Xu, R., & Luo, Y.-j. (2010). Psychometric properties of the Chinese versions of DASS-21 in Chinese college students. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 18(4), 443–446.Google Scholar
  27. Goodall, K., Trejnowska, A., & Darling, S. (2012). The relationship between dispositional mindfulness, attachment security and emotion regulation. Personality and Individual Differences, 52(5), 622–626.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.12.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gorrese, A., & Ruggieri, R. (2012). Peer attachment: A meta-analytic review of gender and age differences and associations with parent attachment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41(5), 650–672.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-012-9759-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gullone, E., & Robinson, K. (2005). The inventory of parent and peer attachment—Revised (IPPA-R) for children: A psychometric investigation. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy: An International Journal of Theory & Practice, 12(1), 67–79.  https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hayes, A. F. (2017). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. Guilford publications.Google Scholar
  31. Henry, J. D., & Crawford, J. R. (2005). The short-form version of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS-21): Construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44(2), 227–239.  https://doi.org/10.1348/014466505X29657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kandel, D. B., Raveis, V. H., & Davies, M. (1991). Suicidal ideation in adolescence: Depression, substance use, and other risk factors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 20(2), 289–309.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01537613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kenny, D. A. (2014). Measuring model fit. Rstrived from http://davidakenny.net/cm/fit.htm. Assessed 20 March 2018.
  34. Laible, D. J., Carlo, G., & Raffaelli, M. (2000). The differential relations of parent and peer attachment to adolescent adjustment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 29(1), 45–59.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005169004882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Laible, D. J., Carlo, G., & Roesch, S. C. (2004). Pathways to self-esteem in late adolescence: The role of parent and peer attachment, empathy, and social behaviours. Journal of Adolescence, 27(6), 703–716.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2004.05.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lewinsohn, P. M., Hops, H., Roberts, R. E., Seeley, J. R., & Andrews, J. A. (1993). Adolescent psychopathology: I. prevalence and incidence of depression and other DSM-III—R disorders in high school students. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102(1), 133.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.102.4.517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lopez, F. G., Mitchell, P., & Gormley, B. (2002). Adult attachment orientations and college student distress: Test of a mediational model. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 49(4), 460–464.  https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6676.2001.tb01993.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lovibond, P. F., & Lovibond, S. H. (1995). The structure of negative emotional states: Comparison of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS) with the Beck depression and anxiety inventories. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33(3), 335–343.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0005-7967(94)00075-U.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. MacKinnon, D. (2012). Introduction to statistical mediation analysis. Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Moreira, H., Carona, C., Silva, N., Nunes, J., & Canavarro, M. C. (2016). Exploring the link between maternal attachment-related anxiety and avoidance and mindful parenting: The mediating role of self-compassion. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 89(4), 369–384.  https://doi.org/10.1111/papt.12082.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pepping, C. A., Davis, P. J., & O’Donovan, A. (2013). Individual differences in attachment and dispositional mindfulness: The mediating role of emotion regulation. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(3), 453–456.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.10.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Petersen, A. C., Compas, B. E., Brooks-Gunn, J., Stemmler, M., Ey, S., & Grant, K. E. (1993). Depression in adolescence. American Psychologist, 48(2), 155–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rucker, D. D., Preacher, K. J., Tormala, Z. L., & Petty, R. E. (2011). Mediation analysis in social psychology: Current practices and new recommendations. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(6), 359–371.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2011.00355.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ryan, R. M. (2005). The developmental line of autonomy in the etiology, dynamics, and treatment of borderline personality disorders. Development and Psychopathology, 17(4), 987–1006.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579405050467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ryan, R. M., Brown, K. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2007). How integrative is attachment theory? Unpacking the meaning and significance of felt security. Psychological Inquiry, 18(3), 177–182.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10478400701512778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shaver, P. R., Lavy, S., Saron, C. D., & Mikulincer, M. (2007). Social foundations of the capacity for mindfulness: An attachment perspective. Psychological Inquiry, 18(4), 264–271.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10478400701598389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Siegel, D. J. (2007). The mindful brain: Reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-being: WW Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  48. Siegel, D. J. (2009). Mindful awareness, mindsight, and neural integration. The Humanistic Psychologist, 37(2), 137–158.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08873260902892220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Siegel, D. J., & Hartzell, M. (2003). Parenting from the inside out. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher: Penguin.Google Scholar
  50. Snyder, R., Shapiro, S., & Treleaven, D. (2012). Attachment theory and mindfulness. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21(5), 709–717.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-011-9522-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Stevenson, J. C., Emerson, L.-M., & Millings, A. (2017). The relationship between adult attachment orientation and mindfulness: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Mindfulness, 8(6), 1438–1455.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0733-y.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Stevenson, J. C., Millings, A., & Emerson, L.-M. (2018). Psychological well-being and coping: The predictive value of adult attachment, dispositional mindfulness, and emotion regulation. Mindfulness.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0970-8.
  53. Sturdevant, M. S., & Spear, B. A. (2002). Adolescent psychosocial development. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 102, S30–S31.Google Scholar
  54. Wang, K., Shi, H.-S., Geng, F.-L., Zou, L.-Q., Tan, S.-P., Wang, Y., ... Chan, R. C. (2016). Cross-cultural validation of the depression anxiety stress scale–21 in China. Psychological Assessment, 28(5), e88.  https://doi.org/10.1037/pas0000207.
  55. Zhao, X., Lynch, J. G., Jr., & Chen, Q. (2010). Reconsidering baron and Kenny: Myths and truths about mediation analysis. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(2), 197–206.  https://doi.org/10.1086/651257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, University of MacauMacauChina
  2. 2.School of Education, Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Educational Science Research InstituteHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  4. 4.School of Humanities & Social ScienceChinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen)ShenzhenChina
  5. 5.School of PsychologyCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations