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Although theory suggests the relevance of mindfulness and mindfulness-based therapies for understanding relationships between trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and dissociative experiences, little research has directly compared associations between mindfulness and trauma-related distress versus dissociation, including dissociative trauma-related altered states of consciousness (TRASC). We therefore examined whether mindfulness traits (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire [FFMQ]) partially mediated the relationship between self-reported trauma exposure, whether occurring during childhood or anytime in life, and outcomes of PTSD, dissociative subtype PTSD, and TRASC in 952 trauma-exposed participants surveyed online. The relationships between increased traumatic experiences and PTSD, dissociative PTSD, and TRASC were partially mediated by the decreased capacity for mindful describing, acting with awareness, and non-judging traits, although decreased mindful non-reactivity partially mediated only the association between increased childhood trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms, while increased mindful observing partially mediated the association between increased lifetime trauma exposure and increased PTSD and dissociative symptoms. Our findings suggest that altered or decreased capacity for different facets of trait mindfulness may be one mechanism by which trauma exposure leads to the development of trauma-related distress and dissociation.
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- Mindfulness-Related Traits Partially Mediate the Association Between Lifetime and Childhood Trauma Exposure and PTSD and Dissociative Symptoms in a Community Sample Assessed Online
- Springer US