Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Self-esteem stability is the magnitude of the short-term fluctuations in one’s immediate feelings of self-worth (Kernis, 2005). Stable self-esteem is associated with several psychological benefits, such as lower depression (Kernis et al., 1998). However, it is unknown what factors lead to self-esteem stability. Because mindfulness promotes a nonjudgmental orientation whereby thoughts, feelings, and reactions are viewed as transient events that do not necessarily represent objective reality, mindfulness might be associated with more stable self-esteem. Thus, the present research examined the relation between mindfulness and self-esteem stability. Undergraduates (N = 190) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: mindfulness training, cognitive training (active control), or null control condition in which no intervention was delivered. Then, participants completed measures of state self-esteem twice per day for ten days on their personal smartphones as a means of indexing self-esteem stability. The first aim of the study was to determine the association between trait mindfulness and self-esteem stability in participants in the null control condition. Results revealed small, inconsistent associations between mindfulness and self-esteem stability that became nonsignificant when controlling for mood variability, hassles, uplifts, and self-esteem level. The second aim of the study was to test whether mindfulness practice affected self-esteem stability. Results indicated that self-esteem became more stable across time. However, the improved stability in self-esteem did not differ by condition. Thus, there was no evidence that mindfulness training caused more stable self-esteem above placebo effects. Overall, results suggest a small association between mindfulness and self-esteem stability may exist, but brief mindfulness training may not improve self-esteem stability. Future studies with larger samples sizes and more intensive mindfulness interventions would help clarify the relation between mindfulness and self-esteem stability.
Ford, Cameron Grant, "An Investigation of the Relation between Mindfulness and Self-Esteem Stability" (2019). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4097.