The Facilitating Role of Dispositional Mindfulness in the Process of Posttraumatic Growth: A Prospective Investigation

Yu Lien Huang*, Zong Wei Li, Yi Wen Kung, Yi Jen Su

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Traumatic events can lead not only to psychological distress but also to posttraumatic growth (PTG). As trauma challenge one’s fundamental assumptions, traumatized individuals may initially experience intrusive rumination. However, these challenged assumptions could facilitate further cognitive processing of trauma (i.e., deliberate rumination), which in turn fosters PTG. Adaptive cognitive processes, such as reduced rumination, have been linked to dispositional mindfulness. Thus, the current study aimed to investigate the potential role of dispositional mindfulness in the process of PTG. Method: A 3-wave longitudinal design was employed to capture temporal changes in PTG. At the initial assessment (time 1), 259 traumatized individuals were assessed with regard to their trauma experiences, core belief challenge, intrusive and deliberate rumination, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), PTG, and dispositional mindfulness. The surveys were repeated after 1 month (time 2) and 7 months (time 3). Results: Over time, the first indirect association of core belief challenge was increased PTG through recent intrusive and deliberate rumination, and the second indirect association of core belief challenge was decreased PTG through recent intrusive rumination and PTSS. In addition, dispositional mindfulness significantly moderated these 2 indirect associations. Individuals with a medium level of mindfulness at time 1 had lower levels of rumination and PTSS at time 3 compared to individuals with a low level of mindfulness. Conclusions: In the face of trauma, dispositional mindfulness promotes resilience through a subsequent reduction in rumination and PTSS. Our results highlight the protective role of dispositional mindfulness in long-term outcomes of trauma exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-181
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Volume14
Issue numberS1
DOIs
StatePublished - 29 11 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • Deliberate rumination
  • Intrusive rumination
  • Mindfulness
  • Posttraumatic growth

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