Changes in disengagement coping mediate changes in affect following mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in a non-clinical sample.
Cousin G., Crane C.
Past research has shown that mindfulness-based interventions increase positive affect in non-clinical populations. However, the mechanisms underlying this increase are poorly understood. On the basis of previous empirical and theoretical accounts, we hypothesized that a decreased use of disengagement coping strategies in daily life would explain the benefits of a mindfulness-based intervention in terms of increased positive affect. We analysed the data of 75 healthy adult participants (58 women; 17 men) of different ages (M = 49 years old; SD = 13; age range 19-81) who had been randomly allocated to 8-week Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or to a waitlist control group. The results confirmed our hypothesis: Participants in the MBCT group showed significant improvements in positive affect compared to the control group, with decreased use of disengagement coping styles mediating these improvements. The implications of this study are discussed.