Measuring mindfulness: The challenge of appropriate sampling

Karen M. Davis*, David R. Cairns

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In recent years the use of mindfulness training as a therapeutic intervention for a variety of clinical conditions has been increasing. The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ, Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer, & Toney, 2006) is the most comprehensive mindfulness measure to date and is likely to be widely utilised in mindfulness research. However, doubts exist surrounding the factor structure of the FFMQ, especially given that the FFMQ's development sample was comprised entirely of undergraduate students and included few experienced meditators. To address this, the current study assessed a heterogeneous sample of meditators and non-meditators to test the fit of the FFMQ's hierarchical five-factor model. A total of 461 respondents completed a web-based survey (mean age = 36.5, SD = 14.3; 312 females, 149 males). Over half of the combined community and university student sample in the present study (52.7%) consisted of beginners and very experienced meditators, including members of a large number of Buddhist meditation groups and mindfulness interest groups both in Australia and the UK. A confirmatory factor analysis supported the FFMQ's hierarchical five-factor structure. This supports the hypothesis that the lack of fit found in the study by Baer et al. (2006) was due to a lack of experienced meditators in the development sample. The present study demonstrates the importance of utilising appropriate samples when asking a specific research question.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPersonality Down Under: Perspectives from Australia
    PublisherNova Science Publishers
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9781604567946
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Five facet mindfulness questionnaire
    • Mindfulness
    • Sample selection
    • Scale development


    Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring mindfulness: The challenge of appropriate sampling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this