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Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness 6/2017

23-05-2017 | ORIGINAL PAPER

Emotional Understanding: Examining Alexithymia as a Mediator of the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Empathy

Auteurs: Helen Z. MacDonald, Jennifer L. Price

Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 6/2017

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Abstract

The positive mental health correlates of mindfulness have become increasingly well-established. Recent literature has documented an association between the present-moment awareness and attention that is characteristic of mindfulness, and the capacity to adopt the emotions, cognitions, and perspectives of another individual, as displayed in empathy. The mechanisms underlying this relationship, however, are still poorly understood. This study aimed to examine alexithymia—or the difficulty identifying, labeling, understanding, and processing one’s own emotions—as a mediator of the relationship between five facets of dispositional mindfulness (i.e., observing, describing, acting with awareness, nonjudging, and nonreacting) and empathy in a sample of 616 undergraduate college students. Results revealed that alexithymia mediated the relationships between the describing and acting with awareness domains of mindfulness and cognitive empathy, while accounting for the effects of the other mindfulness subscales and participant sex. These findings suggest that the relationship between specific mindfulness skills and greater understanding of another individual’s emotional and cognitive experiences may be explained in part by one’s emotional self-awareness.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Emotional Understanding: Examining Alexithymia as a Mediator of the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Empathy
Auteurs
Helen Z. MacDonald
Jennifer L. Price
Publicatiedatum
23-05-2017
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Mindfulness / Uitgave 6/2017
Print ISSN: 1868-8527
Elektronisch ISSN: 1868-8535
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0739-5