The inclusion of Buddhist mindfulness perspectives in second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) offers an opportunity to explore the cultivation of ethical action in MBIs and address concerns about the purported absence of ethics in MBIs. This pilot study examined the relationship between mindfulness and value incongruence following a second-generation MBI, mindfulness-based symptom management (MBSM) that incorporates the Five Skillful Habits (5SH), a value-congruence practice. Sixty-one participants (65.6% female, M age = 44.5; 34.4% male, M age = 54.3) attended an 8-week program whose curriculum included the commitment to and practices of ethical and compassionate behaviors that reflected participants’ personal values. The impact of MBSM on mindfulness (Five-Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ)), congruence between ideal values and their lived experience of those values (Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire (SWBQ)), and relationships between mindfulness and value incongruence were examined. Results indicated that increases in all of the FFMQ factors occurred: Observe (p <.001, d =.52), Describe (p <.01, d =.39), Act with Awareness (p <.001; d =.68), Non-judgment (p < 001, d =.67), and Non-reactivity (p <.001, d =.64). Value incongruence decreased on three of the four factors of the SWBQ: Personal (p <.001; d = −.64), Communal (p <.001; d = −.44), and Environmental (p <.01; d = −.40), with no significant changes occurring in Transcendental value incongruence (p >.10; d = −.21). Change scores for several factors of the FFMQ were significantly correlated with changes in the SWBQ measures. These preliminary results suggested that MBSM was related to shifts in value incongruence. Exploring the relationship between mindfulness and the practice of value-congruent behaviors may clarify the pathway between cultivating awareness and ethical/compassionate action.

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Department of Psychology

Monteiro, L.M. (Lynette M.), Musten, F. (Frank), & Leth-Steensen, C. (2019). Effect of Mindfulness on Value Incongruence: a Pilot Study. Mindfulness, 10(6), 1031–1043. doi:10.1007/s12671-018-1044-7