While there is some initial indication that mindfulness meditation interventions can improve social relationship functioning outcomes, this work has not been well controlled and we know little about how mindfulness interventions improve social relationships. We conducted an active treatment controlled 3-arm trial of mindfulness meditation training programs in a stressed community sample (N=153), using a 14-day smartphone training approach. Specifically, we compared standard mindfulness meditation training (that includes skills training in attention monitoring and acceptance, Monitor+Accept) to a mindfulness training program that had only training in attention monitoring (Monitor Only), and to an active problem focused coping program (Problem Focused Coping Control). Consistent with predictions that acceptance training is a critical ingredient for opening participants to their social relationships, we found that Monitor+Accept mindfulness training, relative to the two comparison programs, significantly improved perceptions of social relationship functioning from pre to post intervention. This work is important in that these findings suggest that training in acceptance/equanimity skills in mindfulness training program can foster better social relationship outcomes in daily life.

David J. Creswell, PhD

Carnegie Mellon University

Fellow, Grantee, Reviewer

David’s research focuses broadly on understanding what makes people resilient under stress. Specifically, he conducts community intervention studies, laboratory studies of stress and coping, and neuroimaging studies to understand how … MORE

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