Salutary Proximal Processes and Distal Mood and Anxiety Vulnerability Outcomes of Mindfulness Training: A Pilot Preventive Intervention

Galia Tanay, Gili Lotan, Amit Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study evaluated the effect of a brief mindfulness-based preventive intervention on (a) dispositional (MAAS; Brown & Ryan, 2003) and state (SMS; Tanay & Bernstein, 2010) mindfulness; (b) putative proximal factors/processes engendered through the development of mindfulness, including increased decentering (EQ-D; Fresco et al., 2007) and reduced experiential avoidance (AAQ; Hayes et al., 2004); and (c) distal mood and anxiety vulnerability factors, including reduced depression-related dysfunctional attitudes, (DAS; de Graaf, Roelofs, & Huibers, 2009), anxiety sensitivity (ASI-3; Taylor et al., 2007), and negative affectivity (PANAS-NA; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988) among a university-community sample in Israel. Fifty-three adult participants between the ages of 20 and 52 (M age=25.2years, SD age=4.3years; 65.4% women) were recruited from the Haifa University community. Nineteen participants were randomly assigned to an experimental condition (M age=25.3years, SD age=4.3years; 66% women) and studied prospectively over the course of a four-session (21-day) mindfulness skills training intervention; and 34 participants were randomly assigned to a no-intervention (control) condition (M age=24.9years, SD age=2.4years; 64.7% women) and studied prospectively. Findings demonstrate statistically robust and clinically significant relations between mindfulness and the theorized proximal and distal mood and anxiety vulnerability factors. Findings are discussed with respect to their theoretical implications for better understanding mindfulness-psychopathology vulnerability relations, clinical implications for larger-scale universal and selective transdiagnostic prevention efforts, and future directions for this area of research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-505
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Bernstein recognizes the funding support from the Israeli Council for Higher Education Yigal Alon Fellowship, the European Union FP-7 Marie Curie Fellowship International Reintegration Grant, the National Institutes of Health Clinical LRP, and the Rothschild-Caesarea Foundation's Returning Scientists Project at the University of Haifa. Ms. Tanay recognizes the support from the President's Scholarship for Outstanding Students and the Craps Charitable Trust Scholarship at the University of Haifa. We would like to thank Navot Naor, Iftach Amir, and Yaara Assayag for their assistance in carrying out the present study. We also would like to thank Maria Dempster, Helen Bolderston, David Gillanders, and Frank Bond for generously sharing the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire with our research group.


  • Anxiety
  • Mechanism
  • Mindfulness
  • Prevention
  • Transdiagnostic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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