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Research on mindful awareness and executive function (EF) has increased in recent years, albeit mostly independently. Both having a unique role in the human capacity for higher-order cognitive processing, there is scientific and practical utility in examining the interrelationships between these cognitive constructs. The purpose of this study was to test associations between dispositional levels of mindfulness and EF in a diverse sample of 152 early adolescents (mean age = 12.9). Two analytic models were tested. The first tested the association between dispositional mindfulness and a latent factor consisting of three EF processes: inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. The second simultaneously tested associations between mindfulness and each EF to determine whether associations were specific to individual EF processes. Results demonstrated that mindfulness was significantly associated with higher scores on the latent EF factor. When associations between mindfulness and individual EF processes were tested, mindfulness was positively associated with inhibitory control and working memory, but not cognitive flexibility despite a significant bivariate correlation. Findings indicate that mindful awareness was positively associated with the executive function processes of working memory and inhibitory control in early adolescence.
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- Associations Between Dispositional Mindfulness and Executive Function in Early Adolescence
Nathaniel R. Riggs
David S. Black
- Springer US