Dispositional mindfulness and psychological health : a systematic review

Eve Tomlinson, Omar Yousaf, Axel Vitterso, Lauraine Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Interest in the influence of dispositional mindfulness (DM) on psychological health has been gathering pace over recent years. Despite this, a systematic review of this topic has not been conducted. A systematic review can benefit the field by identifying the terminology and measures used by researchers, and by highlighting methodological weaknesses and empirical gaps. We systematically reviewed non-interventional, quantitative papers on DM and psychological health in non-clinical samples published in English up to June 2016, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A literature search was conducted using PsycINFO, PubMED, Medline and Embase, and 93 papers met the inclusion criteria. Within these, three main themes emerged, depicting the relationship between DM and psychological health: 1) DM appears to be inversely related to psychopathological symptoms such as depressive symptoms, 2) DM is positively linked to adaptive cognitive processes such as less rumination and pain catastrophizing, and 3) DM appears to be associated with better emotional processing and regulation. These themes informed the creation of a taxonomy. We conclude that research has consistently shown a positive relationship between DM and psychological health. Suggestions for future research and conceptual and methodological limitations within the field are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-43
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Cognition
  • Dispositional
  • Emotion
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychological health
  • Trait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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