Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

David Schuldberg

Commitee Members

Jennifer Waltz, Bryan Cochran, Allen Szalda-Petree, Cathy Jenni


anhedonia, mindfulness, psychosis, psychotherapy, quality of life, schizophrenia


University of Montana


Mindfulness practice as a treatment intervention has mitigated psychopathological symptoms and improved aspects of quality of life for many individuals. Studies of mindfulness-based training interventions for individuals with Schizophrenia disorders have been limited. These have targeted psychosis only or addressed anxiety co-occurring with schizophrenia; there has not been a mindfulness intervention tailored to particular treatable experience(s) of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. In this exploratory treatment development research, 10 individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were individually trained in a tailored mindfulness intervention. Predictions were that as a result of participating in the intervention, participants would report less distress in relation to positive symptoms, decreased anhedonia and associated distress, and increased quality of life. Also predicted was that for individuals where mindfulness ability improved over sessions, the participant would also report associated clinical improvement on the quantitative outcome measures. These were the Quality of Life Satisfaction and Enjoyment Scale-18 (Q-LES-Q-18), Positive Symptom Experience and Related Distress Questionnaire (PSEARD), portions of the Subjective Experience of Negative Symptoms Scale (SENS), Toronto Mindfulness Scale (TMS), Five-Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFM), and qualitative instruments including the Trainer Mindfulness Rating Form, Life Events Update Form, General Qualitative Measure, and Exit Interview Questionnaire. Participants' qualitative responses as they proceeded through the training were also recorded, analyzed, and referenced to assist in generating and explaining themes and variations of participant experience in training. The goal was to improve the training manual and intervention characteristics for this pilot intervention. Results indicate that 60% of participants evidenced a positive clinical trend across their "linearized" trajectories on the four dependent variables and 70% of participants evidenced a clinically positive trend for reducing anhedonia-related distress. However, for a majority of participants, positive clinical trends did not occur for distress related to positive symptoms, anhedonia symptoms, and quality of life. Analyses also did not suggest any associative relationships between improvement in mindfulness ability and improvement in scores on outcome constructs. The qualitative data led to a conceptual analysis that implicates a changing and more centered self-concept as a candidate for the primary construct through which mindfulness ability can lead to beneficial outcomes.



© Copyright 2011 Jennifer Leah Miller