Could mindfulness decrease anger, hostility, and aggression by decreasing rumination?

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Abstract

Research suggests that rumination increases anger and aggression. Mindfulness, or present-focused and intentional awareness, may counteract rumination. Using structural equation modeling, we examined the relations between mindfulness, rumination, and aggression. In a pair of studies, we found a pattern of correlations consistent with rumination partially mediating a causal link between mindfulness and hostility, anger, and verbal aggression. The pattern was not consistent with rumination mediating the association between mindfulness and physical aggression. Although it is impossible with the current nonexperimental data to test causal mediation, these correlations support the idea that mindfulness could reduce rumination, which in turn could reduce aggression. These results suggest that longitudinal work and experimental manipulations mindfulness would be worthwhile approaches for further study of rumination and aggression. We discuss possible implications of these results. Aggr. Behav. 36:28–44, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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