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We sought to disambiguate the quantitative and qualitative components of mindfulness profiles, examine whether including “nonattachment” as a subcomponent of mindfulness alters the profiles, and evaluate the extent to which the person-centered approach to understanding mindfulness adds predictive power beyond a more parsimonious variable- centered approach. Using data from a nationally representative sample of Americans (N=7884; 52% female; Age: M=47.9, SD=16), we utilized bifactor exploratory structural equation modeling and latent profile analysis to separate the level and shape of previously identified profiles of mindfulness (Pearson, Lawless, Brown, & Bravo, 2015). Consistent with past research, we identified a judgmentally observing profile and a non-judgmentally aware group, but inconsistent with past research, we did not find profiles that showed high or low levels on all specific aspects of mindfulness. Adding nonattachment did not alter the shape of the profiles. Profile membership was meaningfully related to demographic variables. In models testing the distinctive predictive utility of the profiles, the judgmentally observing profile, compared to the other profiles, showed the highest levels of mental ill-health, but also the highest levels of life satisfaction and effectiveness. We discuss the implications of our study for clinical interventions and understanding the varieties of mindfulness.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


This is the post-peer reviewed version of the following article: Are people mindful in different ways? Disentangling the quantity and quality of mindfulness in latent profiles, and exploring their links to mental health and life effectiveness, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.