Abstract ID: 3443

Primary Topic: Mind-body (including meditation and yoga)

Dispositional Mindfulness Moderates the Effects of Daily Fluctuation in Negative Affect on Wellbeing Among Stressed Older Adults
Dana Dharmakaya Colgan, PhD; Jeff Proulx, PhD; Dan Klee, BS; Tab Memmott, BS; Barry Oken, MD, PhD, , Portland, OR, United States

Late Breaker: No

Purpose

In older adults, dispositional mindfulness has been associated with increased emotional wellbeing and decreased negative affect. The variability of daily negative affect contains unique information relevant to wellbeing, beyond that provided by mean negative affect, and has been shown to be salient marker for reduced physical and mental health. To further examine the effects of mindfulness in stressed older adults, this study investigated if dispositional mindfulness would moderate the relationship between daily fluctuation in negative affect and emotional wellbeing among older adults.

Methods/Session Format

In this cross-sectional study, 134 mild to moderately stressed 50–85-year olds completed self-report measures of emotional wellbeing (Mental Health Component of the SF-36) and dispositional mindfulness (Nonjudgmental Awareness Factor of the KIMS). Participants were then given a pre-programmed handheld device that sounded an alert four times a day, for two days, signaling participants to answer questions regarding their current positive and negative emotional affect (PANAS-Short Form). The standard deviation of the eight negative affect means, gathered over the two days, was used as the measure of daily fluctuation in negative affect. The maximum daily negative affect was also determined.

Results

Bivariate correlation analysis revealed a statistically significant inverse relationship between daily fluctuation in negative affect and wellbeing (r = -.46; p < .001). When controlling for age and gender, the effect of daily fluctuation in negative affect on wellbeing was moderated by dispositional mindfulness, β = .74, t(108)= 3.60, p < .001. Similar results were found when investigating the interaction effect of dispositional mindfulness and maximum daily negative affect on emotional wellbeing, β = .52, t(110)= 4.30, p < .001.

Conclusions

Research has only recently begun to examine mindfulness in older adults. Results suggest that dispositional mindfulness may decouple the effects of daily fluctuation in negative affect on emotional wellbeing in a real-time, ambulatory measurement.