Methods. Participants (N=775) were emerging adults (ages 18-25 years) who sought services for any reason at a Level 1 urban emergency department (ED) in Flint, Michigan and who completed a self-administered computer survey. Structural equation modeling in Mplus was used to examine direct and indirect paths between DV exposure, the five facets of trait mindfulness, and the three separate outcomes of interest: anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
Results. More than half of the sample was male (63.8%), with a total mean age of 21.4 (SD = 2.3). Approximately 58% identified as Black, 33% percent as White, and 9% as other. The mean depressive score was 1.3 (SD= 1.6), anxiety was 3.6 (SD= 4.9), and approximately 9% of the sample endorsed suicidal ideation. There was considerable variation in facet scores of trait mindfulness: Act aware (M= 18.7, SD= 4.3), observe (M= 13.7, SD= 4.0), non-judge (M= 16.9, SD= 4.5), non-react (M= 15.6, SD= 4.6), and describe (M= 18.0, SD= 4.1).
The fit indices revealed that the model was a good fit for the data: X2(586) = 1340.50, p<.001, RMSEA = .04 [CI: .038, .044], CFI = .91, TLI =.90, SRMR = .06. Direct and indirect path analyses revealed that the trait mindfulness facets of non-judge and non-react mediated the relationship between DV exposure and the development of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Only the facet of non-judge mediated the relationship between DV exposure and the endorsement of suicidal ideation.
Conclusions. Findings provide initial evidence for the trait mindfulness facets of non-judgment and non-reactivity as potential contributing mechanisms in the development of anxiety and depressive symptoms following DV exposure. The findings further suggest that non-judgment may contribute to the presence of suicidal ideation following DV. Given that trait mindfulness is thought to be a malleable internal state, social work interventions indicated for DV exposure should work to enhance these facets of mindfulness implicated in the development of mental health concerns following this trauma exposure. [Supported by NIAAA (K23AA022641),NICHD (R03HD087520), NCATS of NIH (2UL1TR000433) and University of Michigan Injury Center, a CDC ICRC (R49CE002099).]