This study aimed to (1) examine profiles of mindfulness in a large cohort from the general population by disentangling the level and shape effects of mindfulness, (2) identify the demographic predictors (i.e., age, gender, and educational level) of mindfulness profile membership, and (3) examine associations of mindfulness profiles with psychological outcomes (including both positive and negative indicators) and coping strategies (including positive reappraisal and rumination).
This cross-sectional observational study included a large representative group of 1727 people from the general Dutch population. To separate the level and shape effects of mindfulness, the bifactor exploratory structural equation modeling (B-ESEM) and latent profile analyses (LPA) were performed. The factor scores of the B-ESEM were used as indicators of LPA.
Using a combination of B-ESEM and LPA, we identified three profiles that differed on global levels and configurations of mindfulness: profile 1 “average mindfulness” (78.4%), profile 2 “low to average mindfulness” (16.2%), and profile 3 “high non-judgmentally aware” (5.4%). These profiles differed significantly on age, gender, and educational level, with people in profile 3 being older, male, and lower educated. Compared with the other two profiles, people in profile 3 reported the best psychological outcomes and coping strategies.
Findings provide evidence for the importance of looking at profiles of mindfulness in future observational and intervention studies. Research is needed to test the feasibility and effectiveness of more personalized mindfulness interventions, tailored to specific profiles of mindfulness.