Differential Effects of Mindful Breathing and Loving Kindness Meditations: A Component Analysis Study
Advances in Mental Health
Taylor & Francis Australasia
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Objective: Mindful breathing meditation (MBM) and loving-kindness meditation (LKM) are common components of effective mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). This study examined the differential effects of MBM and LKM on purported therapeutic process variables and mental health outcomes via component analysis.
Method: The research design was a randomized controlled trial with four conditions: MBM, LKM, combined (MBM + LKM), and a relaxation control. All conditions consisted of 10-min. audio-recorded guided meditations that were self-implemented over the course of two weeks. Participants were college undergraduates (N = 52).
Results: Findings indicated statistically significant and very large main effects of time, regardless of condition. Statistically significant time by condition interactions were only observed for one process variable (i.e., defusion) and one mental health outcome (i.e., depression). Follow-up descriptive evaluation of between-group effect sizes indicated patterns of favorable effects for MBM and LKM over the combined and relaxation control conditions. Treatment integrity and treatment acceptability data indicated very favorable social validity across conditions.
Discussion: We conclude that our findings make a modest yet value-added contribution to the MBI component analysis literature, suggesting differentiated performance among isolated MBM and LKM exercises compared to combined and control conditions. Yet further research is warranted to improve upon the limitations of this study.
Sarah J. Bolognino, Tyler L. Renshaw & Mary L. Phan (2023) Differential effects of mindful breathing and loving kindness meditations: a component analysis study, Advances in Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/18387357.2023.2166855