Higher trait mindfulness (i.e., bringing one’s attention to the present moment with an attitude of acceptance and non-judgment) is associated with lower eating disorder (ED) psychopathology. However, it is not yet clear how mindfulness results in lower ED psychopathology. One possibility is that mindfulness may decrease body checking, particularly in individuals who are high in ED psychopathology. The current study tests the relationships between mindfulness facets and body checking, and the extent to which these relationships are moderated by ED psychopathology.
College students (N = 805, 76.7% female, mean age = 20.0) completed the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, the Body Checking Questionnaire, and the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire electronically.
Higher acting with awareness, non-judging, and non-reactivity were uniquely associated with lower body checking, whereas higher observing was uniquely associated with higher body checking. The relation between non-judging and body checking was stronger for individuals who were higher in ED psychopathology.
All mindfulness facets, except describing, show potential as processes that can be altered to reduce body checking, particularly for individuals higher in ED psychopathology.