Despite the numerous treatments available, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) continues to plague millions of individuals, their loved ones, as well as society as a whole. Mindfulness based treatments have emerged as an alternative treatment option and are increasingly utilized to treat individuals struggling with MDD. A plethora of research has pointed to the effectiveness of mindfulness based treatments for MDD and numerous studies have demonstrated that increased mindfulness is associated with decreased symptoms of depression. However, there is a paucity of research focused on understanding the mechanisms of action underling mindfulness and depression. Within the small body of research that does exist, emotion regulation has been suggested as one important mechanism by which mindfulness leads to decreased symptoms of depression. The aim of this dissertation was to add to the limited body of research examining whether emotion regulation mediates the relationship between mindfulness and depression using correlational, self-report data from a sample of 185 college students. To investigate this hypothesis a mediation analysis was conducted, involving bootstrapping with an SPSS macro (Preacher & Hayes, 2004). Findings indicated that emotion dysregulation partially mediated the relationship between mindfulness and depression, as mindfulness and depression were still significantly related when emotion dysregulation was included in the model but the strength of their relationship was reduced. The implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.
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