Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




College of Science & Mathematics


Jeffrey Greeson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Steven Brunwasser, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Jim Haugh, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3

Joanna Petrides, Psy.D.


Cardiovascular Disease, Equanimity, Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, Hypertension, Monitor and Accept Theory, Trait Mindfulness


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy; Blood pressure; Cardiovascular system--Diseases--Treatment


Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychology


Hypertension (HTN) is associated with stress and unhealthy emotion regulation. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are said to help address stress-related diseases like cardiovascular disease by impacting stress and emotion regulation, yet studies of MBIs on cardiovascular health show inconsistent findings. Limited research has examined the basic links between trait mindfulness and cardiovascular health, leaving the active components of MBIs in this context unclear. Therefore, the current study examined the relationship between trait mindfulness and blood pressure (BP) in individuals with pre-hypertension (pre-HTN). Latent variables representing two conceptualizations of trait mindfulness -Monitor and Accept Theory (MAT) and Equanimity- were calculated using facets of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and their relationships with BP tested (n=296) using structural equation modeling and moderated multiple regression. Higher equanimity associated with higher BP at a level not reaching clinical relevance, and this relationship was not moderated by stress or mediated by rumination or suppression. Trait mindfulness as described in MAT did not predict lower SBP or DBP. Validity concerns regarding the FFMQ, and the state of the mindfulness research field are discussed in relation to the current study results. Subsequent recommendations for improving trait mindfulness measurement are described.