Term of Award

Fall 2025

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Nicolette Rickert

Committee Member 1

Dorthie Cross

Committee Member 2

Richard Cleveland


Previous research has found that higher levels of trait mindfulness protect against psychopathology (e.g., Chiesa & Serretti, 2013; Desrosiers et al., 2013; Sevilla-Llewellyn-Jones et al., 2018); however, the research on state mindfulness and psychopathology is more mixed. These mixed findings suggest that some clients with higher levels of psychopathology may have greater difficulty engaging with mindfulness practice thereby hampering their progression towards trait mindfulness and its associated benefits. The present study sought to explore how psychopathology (i.e., anxiety, trauma, alcohol use, and depression) relates to the growth of state and trait mindfulness. The present study recruited 274 participants from a southeastern university and the local general population. Participants completed a four-week online and asynchronous mindfulness-based stress reduction course and answered surveys each week related to their mindfulness levels; in the baseline and final surveys, they were also asked about their psychopathology. A latent growth curve model was constructed to understand the pathways of state and trait mindfulness growth. The primary findings related to the hypotheses included: (1) the growth of state mindfulness predicted final trait mindfulness, and (2) baseline anxiety predicted a steeper decline in state mindfulness over the mindfulness course. Taken together, these findings help contribute to our understanding of the growth of state mindfulness and how anxiety may interfere with its trajectory in psychotherapy.

Research Data and Supplementary Material