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05-11-2018 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 5/2019

Mindfulness 5/2019

Mindfulness Relates to Decreased Depressive Symptoms Via Enhancement of Self-Insight

Mindfulness > Uitgave 5/2019
Miho Nakajima, Keisuke Takano, Yoshihiko Tanno


Self-insight or clarity of understanding of one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is suggested to play a key role in psychological treatments of depression. Mindfulness is considered as a promising factor to enhance self-insight since it is a prerequisite to gaining clearer self-understanding. Regardless of the theoretical/hypothetical links between self-insight, mindfulness, and depressive symptoms, their temporal or causal associations have not been examined thoroughly. Furthermore, as mindfulness is a five-factor construct, it is important to clarify which factor(s) of mindfulness is/are especially associated with increased self-insight. In the present study, we conducted a three-wave longitudinal survey on Japanese undergraduate students (n = 148, men = 106, women = 42, mean age = 19.24 years, SD = 1.67 years) to examine the prospective effect of mindfulness on self-insight and that of self-insight on depressive symptoms. The results of structural equation modeling revealed a significant indirect effect of mindfulness, leading to decreased depressive symptoms via increased self-insight. A follow-up multiple regression analysis identified two of the five factors of mindfulness (i.e., describe and act with awareness) as significant predictors of future increase in self-insight. The findings of the present study indicated that self-insight could be improved through mindfulness, leading to a reduction in depressive symptoms.

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