Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jennifer Waltz

Commitee Members

Bryan Cochran, Duncan Campbell, K. Annie Sondag


diet, mindfulness, physical activity


University of Montana


Inadequate nutrition and physical inactivity have been recognized as key sources of morbidity and mortality (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2005). The current study is interested in integrating mindfulness into interventions geared towards changing health behaviors. Mindfulness is a Buddhist-based concept that has received an increasing amount of attention by clinicians and researchers in the field of psychology and medicine over the past 20 years (Bishop et al., 2004). Although mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist spiritual practices, the integration of mindfulness into medical and mental health treatment has transpired primarily in a secular manner (Baer, 2003). Mindfulness has already been incorporated into the treatment of many psychological and physical disorders (e.g., Kabat-Zinn, 2003). The ultimate goal of this line of research is to develop and test a mindfulness-based intervention for health behavior change. As an initial step, the current study examined whether mindfulness is related to diet, physical activity, and self-efficacy. Method: Participants (204 females and 93 males, mean age = 20.9 years) were recruited from the Introduction to Psychology subject pool at the University of Montana for participation in this study. Participants completed the Five Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), the FFMQ modified for mindful eating, as well as measures of physical activity, diet, self-efficacy, and stress. Results: Certain aspects of mindfulness appear to be related to specific health behaviors, lending partial support to the research hypotheses. Degree of mindfulness in everyday life was correlated with physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake, fat intake (males only), and self-efficacy. The results suggest that different aspects of mindfulness are important for males versus females. Clinical implications and future research areas are discussed.

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© Copyright 2009 Desleigh D. Gilbert