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17-09-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 11/2020

Mindfulness 11/2020

Mindfulness, Self-Compassion and Attachment: a Network Analysis of Psychopathology Symptoms in Adolescents

Mindfulness > Uitgave 11/2020
Barbara Barcaccia, Matti Cervin, Andrea Pozza, Oleg N. Medvedev, Roberto Baiocco, Susanna Pallini
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-020-01466-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Mindfulness, positive self-related attitudes and secure attachment have been shown to protect against psychopathology during adolescence, but it is unknown how these factors are related to each other and which are most strongly linked to psychopathology symptoms.


A cross-sectional research design was used with a large sample of adolescents (aged 14 to 18 years; n = 1660) that completed validated measures of mindfulness, self-related attitudes, attachment, depression, anxiety and anger. We employed network analytic methods in order to better understand associations among these variables.


Mindfulness was linked to lower levels of depression and anxiety while self-reassurance was linked to lower levels of anxiety and higher levels of anger. Self-hate was linked to depression. In turn, self-reassurance and self-hate were differentially linked to facets of attachment, particularly trust in parents.


Interventions combining mindfulness practice and clinical techniques based on attachment theory, which operate on different psychological levels, may improve self-related attitudes, which in turn can help ameliorate depression and anxiety in adolescents. Alternatively, interventions directly targeting self-related attitudes, particularly self-reassurance and self-inadequacy, hold promise to achieve positive effects on mental health among adolescents.

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