[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We address 3 critiques raised by Grossman (2011) of self-report measures of mindfulness and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) and Mindful Attention Awareness Scale-Adolescent (MAAS-A) in particular. Grossman questioned whether self-report measures actually assess mindfulness, whether the construct of mindfulness can be understood apart from mindfulness training, and whether there is empirical evidence to support the validity of mindfulness measures. In response we discuss established theory that attention (and secondarily meta-awareness) is core to the meaning of mindfulness and is the central feature of the MAAS and MAAS-A. We then argue that mindfulness is an inherent capacity that varies between and within persons and is not, as Grossman claimed, a concept applicable to only a trained few. Further, as assessed by the MAAS and MAAS-A, mindfulness is associated with the same variety of outcomes as mindfulness training is theorized to yield. Finally, we provide considerable evidence that the MAAS and MAAS-A are valid instruments. We conclude that although construct measurement is inevitably imperfect, such efforts are critical to building basic knowledge and refining effective interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interest in mindfulness-based interventions for children and adolescents is burgeoning, bringing with it the need for validated instruments to assess mindfulness in youths. The present studies were designed to validate among adolescents a measure of mindfulness previously validated for adults (e.g., Brown & Ryan, 2003), which we herein call the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale-Adolescent (MAAS-A). In 2 large samples of healthy 14- to 18-year-olds (N = 595), Study 1 supported a single-factor MAAS-A structure, along with acceptably high internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and both concurrent and incremental validity. In Study 2, with a sample of 102 psychiatric outpatient adolescents age 14-18 years, participants randomized to a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention showed significant increases in MAAS-A scores from baseline to 3-month follow-up, relative to nonsignificant score changes among treatment-as-usual participants. Increases in MAAS-A scores among mindfulness-based stress reduction participants were significantly related to beneficial changes in numerous mental health indicators. The findings support the reliability and validity of the MAAS-A in normative and mixed psychiatric adolescent populations and suggest that the MAAS-A has utility in mindfulness intervention research.