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The Relationship Between Adult Attachment Orientation and Mindfulness and Their Role in Student Psychological Well-being

Stevenson, Jodie (2019) The Relationship Between Adult Attachment Orientation and Mindfulness and Their Role in Student Psychological Well-being. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Adult attachment security and trait mindfulness are associated with the same positive mental health outcomes, including greater psychological well-being, and are both associated with adaptive responses to stressful and emotional experiences. In light of the similarities researchers have theorised that the relationship between these two variables is bidirectional. However, very little work has examined either the directionality of, or causality within, their relationship and how they influence psychological well-being. This is the topic of this thesis. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to establish the extent and nature of the relationship between adult attachment orientation and mindfulness (Chapter 2). In an attempt to understand the possible mechanisms that link these constructs, the second study (Chapter 3) examined whether emotion regulation might account for the commonalities between the two constructs. This work is located in the applied context of mental well-being in higher education. The second half of this thesis attempts to address issues of directionality and causality in the relationship between attachment orientation and mindfulness. The third study (Chapter 4) presents longitudinal data determining the stability of attachment and mindfulness over time, the predictive nature of each construct on the other, and the relevance of both constructs in student psychological well-being. The fourth study (Chapter 5) examined the causal relationship between attachment orientation and mindfulness by manipulating each construct in a laboratory setting, and assessing change in the other. Together, this doctoral thesis provides evidence to refute popular theory concerning the relationship between attachment orientation and mindfulness, suggesting their relationship is not bidirectional. It argues that attachment orientation plays a causal role in mindfulness, but that the reverse is not true. These novel findings advance greatly our understanding of the relationship between these traits and highlight important contributions from both constructs to the mental well-being of undergraduate students.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Jodie Stevenson
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2020 11:25
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2020 11:25
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26050

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