Measuring mindfulness and self-compassion: a questionnaire and ERP study
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Objective: The present study aimed to first confirm the factor structures of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) for the use in Estonian language, and then to provide clarification on how the mindfulness and self-compassion constructs are related to one another. The next aim was to deepen the understanding on how different FFMQ and SCS subscales correlate with psychophysiological Event-related Potential (ERP) data, measuring affective reactivity. Method: The questionnaire portion of the study included 237 (53 male) participants, out of whom 23 (5 male) particiapted in the experimental ERP portion of the study. For questionnaire portion Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was performed and correlations among 11 subscales analyzed. During the ERP portion, participants engaged in a picture-viewing task using different affect regulation strategies (i.e., mindful, distract, watch) to assess whether any of the FFMQ and SCS subscales relate to affective reactivity, employing Late Positive Potential (LPP) as a marker. Results: The CFA fit indices for the Estonian FFMQ and SCS endorsed the original scales’ factor structures. The FFMQ acceptance related subscales and SCS subscales were highly intercorrelated. Observe subscale from the FFMQ was the only subscale predicting the LPP measured affective reactivity, elbeit to the opposite direction than predicted. Conclusion: FFMQ measured acceptance and SCS measured self-compassion appear to be highly overlapping constructs. Observing is a necessary factor of mindfulness, which at least in non-meditator populations is thought to precede, and might not co-occur with acceptance.