The measurement of mindfulness

Christopher Jay Johnson, University of Texas at El Paso


Mindfulness meditation has a rich history in Eastern religious traditions and is purported to assuage human suffering. More recently, psychologists have become interested in the utility of mindfulness in health settings and as a clinical tool, integrating it into several therapies and conducting systematic investigations that explore its efficacy and effectiveness in treating psychological symptoms, stress, and promoting general well-being. However, the research examining mindfulness has been fraught with methodological difficulties, including limited assessment capabilities and debate about the operationalization of the construct. A goal of the present research was to explore construct validity by examining the associations between mindfulness and related constructs. An additional goal of the present study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Spanish-language version of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS-SP) and establish whether the MAAS-SP is equivalent to the English-language version of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). A sample of 374 undergraduate students, including 188 bilingual participants, from a Hispanic-majority institution completed the assessment battery. The MAAS and MAAS-SP were shown to be partially measurement invariant and both instruments demonstrated good psychometric properties. Convergent validity was supported as mindfulness was associated with a number of theoretically relevant constructs. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses lent further support for construct validity and were generally consistent with current theories of mindfulness. Partial correlations and hierarchical regression analyses lent support for the incremental validity of the MAAS/MAAS-SP in predicting life satisfaction and mood disturbance, after controlling for social desirability and other related constructs. The current study supports the reliability and validity of the MAAS and MAAS-SP in measuring mindfulness across languages. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Johnson, Christopher Jay, "The measurement of mindfulness" (2006). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3242127.