An Analysis of the Effects of Mindfulness-based Meditation on Rumination in Anxious Adults

This literature review investigates the link between mindfulness-based meditation, rumination, and anxiety. This examination is attempting to discover how much mindfulness meditation reduces rumination in anxious adults. This literature review defines mindfulness and investigates its effect on mood. Mindfulness-based interventions are examined to determine if they have the capacity to increase dispositional mindfulness. The various types of meditation are defined and compared. Then the link between mindfulness-based interventions and a decrease in rumination is investigated. Rumination as a construct is then examined for its effect on mood and anxiety symptoms in particular. Anxiety disorders, their prevalence in society, and common treatments are explored. These are then compared to the mindfulness-based interventions. Links between all three variables are studied. It is hypothesized that a reduction in rumination is a mediator between mindfulness and a decrease in anxiety. Effect sizes of rumination reported in various studies are compared to give an estimate on the theorized effects of such methods on the reduction of rumination in anxious adults. Although no difference in results were found between different types of meditation, the research does in fact support the notion that through the practice of mindfulness-based meditation one is creating a state of dispositional mindfulness that inherently reduces rumination. Size effects were noted between .34 and .58 (mild to moderate effect). Although no studies investigate all three variables, there is enough evidence to suggest that a similar decrease in rumination should be expected in anxious adults.

Kayla Harvey
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