There is mixed psychometric evidence for the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire’s (FFMQ) Observing factor (FFMQ-Observing). Recent efforts to improve this construct produced a new Observing Scale consisting of three factors: Body Observing, Emotion Awareness, and External Perception. Using a sample of mostly nonmeditating emergency telecommunicators (TCs), this study explored this new Observing Scale’s factor structure, its viability as a replacement for the FFMQ-Observing factor, and its convergent validity.
The FFMQ and additional mindfulness items from the new Observing Scale were administered via an online survey to emergency TCs (N = 242, Mage = 41.84, SD = 9.80, range = 18–72). We performed exploratory factor analysis (EFA) on the Observing Scale, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) on a novel five-factor model integrating the Observing Scale with the FFMQ (excluding FFMQ-Observing), and correlations among the Observing Scale, the FFMQ, and mindfulness-based practices.
EFA suggested four factors for the Observing Scale: Internal Body Observing, External Body Observing, Emotion Awareness, and External Perception. CFA failed to validate our integrated model, but the Observing Scale was positively correlated with the FFMQ and mindfulness-based practices.
This study provides preliminary support for an improved Observing Scale, while suggesting a novel, four-factor structure in emergency TCs. Although the Observing Scale was not compatible with the FFMQ, this may reflect measurement error rather than model misspecification given evidence of content overlap and distinctive forms of Body Observing. Future attempts to validate the new Observing Scale in larger samples are encouraged before it may be recommended as an alternative to the FFMQ-Observing factor.