Both Trait and State Mindfulness Predict Lower Aggressiveness via Anger Rumination: a Multilevel Mediation Analysis

Tory A. Eisenlohr-Moul, Jessica R. Peters, Richard S. Pond, C. Nathan DeWall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trait mindfulness, or the capacity for nonjudgmental, present-centered attention, predicts lower aggression in cross-sectional samples, an effect mediated by reduced anger rumination. Experimental work also implicates state mindfulness (i.e., fluctuations around one’s typical mindfulness) in aggression. Despite evidence that both trait and state mindfulness predict lower aggression, their relative impact and their mechanisms remain unclear. Higher trait mindfulness and state increases in mindfulness facets may reduce aggression-related outcomes by (1) limiting the intensity of anger, or (2) limiting rumination on anger experiences. The present study tests two hypotheses: first, that both trait and state mindfulness contribute unique variance to lower aggressiveness, and second, that the impact of both trait and state mindfulness on aggressiveness will be uniquely partially mediated by both anger intensity and anger rumination. Eighty-six participants completed trait measures of mindfulness, anger intensity, and anger rumination, and then completed diaries for 35 days assessing mindfulness, anger intensity, anger rumination, anger expression, and self-reported and behavioral aggressiveness. Using multilevel zero-inflated regression, we examined unique contributions of trait and state mindfulness facets to daily anger expression and aggressiveness. We also examined the mediating roles of anger intensity and anger rumination at both trait and state levels. Mindfulness facets predicted anger expression and aggressiveness indirectly through anger rumination after controlling for indirect pathways through anger intensity. Individuals with high or fluctuating aggression may benefit from mindfulness training to reduce both intensity of and rumination on anger.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-726
Number of pages14
JournalMindfulness
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (T32MH093315; T32MH019927) and the National Science Foundation (1022615).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Anger
  • Anger expression
  • Anger rumination
  • Mindfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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