Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jennifer A. Waltz

Commitee Members

David Schuldberg, Gyda Swaney, Bryan Cochran, Rita Sommers-Flanagan


mindfulness, PTSD, experiential avoidance, trauma


University of Montana


The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of measures of mindfulness to predict the variance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) avoidance symptom severity above and beyond measures of experiential avoidance. A sample of 378 introductory psychology students completed questionnaire packets in individuals rooms to insure confidentiality of sensitive material. Based on a pencil-and-paper self-report measure of PTSD symptoms, the sample was divided into 3 groups: PTSD group (n = 44); trauma-no PTSD (n = 147); and a control (no trauma) group (n = 123). A fourth traumatized group was subsequently created consisting of individuals who endorsed a criterion A trauma, but who may or may not meet full PTSD criteria. Experiential avoidance measures of alexithymia and thought suppression were the most robust predictors of PTSD avoidance symptom severity, but mindfulness predicted more individual variance than measures of emotional coping, emotional intelligence, and a general measure of experiential avoidance. Although not as a strong a predictor of PTSD avoidance symptomatology as alexithymia and thought suppression, mindfulness appears to uniquely account for a significant amount of the variance of PTSD avoidance symptom severity. Treatment implications are discussed.



© Copyright 2008 Brian Lantz Thompson