Mindfulness and experiential avoidance as predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder avoidance symptom severity

Brian L. Thompson, Jennifer Waltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mindfulness reflects an awareness of present moment experiences through an attitude of acceptance and openness (Bishop et al., 2004; Cardaciotto, Herbert, Forman, Moitra, & Farrow, 2008). Experiential avoidance, by contrast, refers to attempts to change, alter, or avoid private experiences (e.g., thoughts, feelings, sensations), and it is believed to underlie a number of psychopathologies, including PTSD (Hayes, Wilson, Gifford, Follette, & Strosahl, 1996). We were interested in the ability of mindfulness to predict the variance of PTSD avoidance symptom severity above and beyond experiential avoidance. 378 introductory psychology students were administered self-report measures of PTSD, mindfulness, experiential avoidance, thought suppression, alexithymia, and avoidant coping. Mindfulness, specifically nonjudgment of experiences, accounted for a unique portion of the variance in PTSD avoidance symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

Keywords

  • Avoidance
  • Mindfulness
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Trauma

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