On being aware and accepting: a one-year longitudinal study into adolescent well-being
The nature and potential benefit of awareness and experiential acceptance in adolescence remains neglected and understudied. To address this gap in the literature, 776 students (50% female) in Grade 10 completed measures of mindfulness, emotional awareness, and experiential acceptance, as well as measures of major personality traits. To study prospective changes, assessments of emotional well-being were completed across a 1-year interval. Analyses revealed that “Acting with Awareness” (engaging fully in one’s current activity with undivided attention), emotional awareness, and experiential acceptance where all linked to prosocial tendencies and uniquely predicted increases in well-being across the year. Observing experience (noticing, observing, and attending to a variety of stimuli) was correlated with positive and negative aspects of personality and did not predict changes in wellbeing. We discuss the implications for understanding awareness and acceptance in youth.
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