Factor Structure among Possible Correlates of Skill at Mindfulness Meditation
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractDespite the growing interest in the general public and popular press about the scientific research into mindfulness meditation (e.g. Pickert, 2014), several critiques of this research have been published in the past few years outlining methodological flaws in many published studies on the topic (Goyal et al., 2014; Ospina et al., 2007). One potential way to improve methodology in this field would be to find better ways of measuring skill at meditation, giving researchers an ability to compare more advanced practitioners to those who are more novice. A total of 69 participants were recruited. Pilot data were collected from 33 participants and analyzed using exploratory methods to assess whether any self-report measures of mindfulness practice might correlate with any physiological variables thought to possibly reflect a dimension of skill at meditation. Participants spent a night in the sleep lab, and prior to their sleep study spent six minutes in a baseline condition followed by six minutes in a meditation condition, and differences were recorded on a number of physiological measures. Correlational analyses revealed that, of the physiological and self-report measures, six were correlated with other measures, and principal component analysis found 2 factors, each with three components. 36 additional participants were then recruited in an attempt to determine whether these two factors would replicate, and this latter group participated only in the meditation protocol. Both factors were largely replicated independently in the second sample and remained stable collapsing the two groups together. Factor 1 combined an increase in both alpha and theta power centrally and occipitally between baseline and meditation with self-reported mindfulness practice, and Factor 2 combined the inverse of the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Mindful Attention and Awareness Scale, and the change in respiration between baseline and meditation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College