Patience and Anxiety: Mindfulness as a Mediator

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Suejung Han

Mentor Department



Approximately 28.8% of adults in the U.S. suffer from some degree of anxiety (Kessler, Berglund, Demler, Jin, & Walters, 2005). Anxiety can hinder a person's ability to function to one's potential. Mindfulness has been increasingly examined as a way to regulate anxiety. Mindfulness refers to self-regulation of attention and an orientation towards one's experience in the present moment (Bishop, et al., 2004). Researchers have shown that mindfulness-based interventions are efficacious at reducing anxiety (Bajaj, Robins, & Pande, 2016). Another resilience factor that could reduce anxiety is patience. Patience is defined as "the propensity of a person to wait calmly in the face of frustration, adversity, or suffering" (Schnitker, 2012, p. 263). Schnitker (2012) has shown that patience and well-being are positively correlated. However, it has not been examined how mindfulness and patience could be interrelated in reducing anxiety. We hypothesized that mindfulness would be associated with lower level of anxiety through patience, because mindfulness may require patience to obtain its benefits. We also tested another theoretically plausible alternative model that patience would be associated with anxiety through mindfulness, because patience can be seen as an acceptance of the present moment. Procedure: A sample of 124 college students participated in this online survey study for psychology research participation credits. The mean ages were 19.5 (SD=3.15) for males (N=26) and 19.15 (SD = 1.34) for females (N=94). The survey included demographic questions, Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (Brown and Ryan, 2003), 3-Factor Patience Questionnaire (Schnitker, 2012), Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (Watkins, P. C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., & Kolts, R. L., 2003), and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (Lovibond, S.H. and Lovibond, P.F., 1995). Results: A path analysis using AMOS 22.0 revealed poor fit for the hypothesized mediation model, χ2(1, 124)= 25.42, p < .001, CFI = .13, RMSEA = .45 (90% CI = .31, .60). An alternative model that mindfulness mediates the association between patience and anxiety, however, fit the data well, χ2(1, 124)= .006, p = .94, CFI = 1.00, RMSEA = .00 (90% CI = .00, .06). All the paths coefficients were significant in the expected direction. Data collection is in progress and complete results will be presented at the conference if accepted. Conclusion and Implications: Patience may be an important resilience/personality strength factor that could reduce anxiety by increased mindfulness. Using patience and mindfulness-based techniques may be useful for treating anxiety.



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