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Disentangling the link between mindfulness and dissociation: The mediating role of attention and emotional acceptance

Abstract : Background Dissociation can be defined as a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, and perception of the environment. Previous studies have reported the negative correlation between mindfulness and dissociation. Some authors have also suggested that mindfulness-based interventions may be relevant psychotherapeutic tools to treat dissociative symptoms. According to Bishop et al.’s model of mindfulness, two processes are involved in mindfulness-based interventions: self-regulation of attention, and acceptance of internal experiences. The aim of this study was to identify which of these mechanisms mediate the link between mindfulness and dissociation in a non-clinical sample. Method We recruited 312 healthy volunteers (269 women, mean age 29.5±12.8, mean years of higher education 3.37±2.48) who completed online questionnaires to assess history of childhood trauma, dissociative experiences, emotion regulation abilities, cognitive difficulties, attention control, and mindfulness abilities. Results We found significant negative correlations between mindfulness and dissociation, and positive correlations between dissociation, attention and emotional acceptance. We also found significant correlations between mindfulness, attention and emotional acceptance. The causal steps approach revealed a reduction of the variance of dissociation explained by mindfulness when attention and emotional acceptance were added. The bootstrapping analysis confirmed the mediating role of attention and emotional acceptance in the link between mindfulness and dissociation. Discussion The results suggest that the link between dissociation and mindfulness may be mediated by attention and emotional acceptance. This is consistent with the model proposed by Bishop et al. (2004). Specific exercises targeting attentional control and emotional acceptance are indicated to treat dissociative symptoms.
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Contributor : Christian Reveillere Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 10:15:29 AM
Last modification on : Monday, February 28, 2022 - 12:56:02 PM

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Alexis Vancappel, L. Guerin, Christian Réveillère, Wissam El-Hage. Disentangling the link between mindfulness and dissociation: The mediating role of attention and emotional acceptance. European Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, Elsevier, 2021, 5 (4), pp.100220. ⟨10.1016/j.ejtd.2021.100220⟩. ⟨hal-03280149⟩



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