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  • 1.
    Archer, Trevor
    et al.
    University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Lindwall, Magnus
    University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Effects of physical exercise on depressive symptoms and biomarkers in depression2014In: CNS & Neurological Disorders: Drug Targets, ISSN 1871-5273, E-ISSN 1996-3181, Vol. 13, no 10, p. 1640-1653Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Regular physical exercise/activity has been shown repeatedly to promote positive benefits in cognitive, emotional and motor domains concomitant with reductions in distress and negative affect. It exerts a preventative role in anxiety and depressive states and facilitates psychological well-being in both adolescents and adults. Not least, several meta-analyses attest to improvements brought about by exercise. In the present treatise, the beneficial effects of exercise upon cognitive, executive function and working memory, emotional, self-esteem and depressed mood, motivational, anhedonia and psychomotor retardation, and somatic/physical, sleep disturbances and chronic aches and pains, categories of depression are discussed. Concurrently, the amelioration of several biomarkers associated with depressive states: hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis homeostasis, anti-neurodegenerative effects, monoamine metabolism regulation and neuroimmune functioning. The notion that physical exercise may function as "scaffolding" that buttresses available network circuits, anti-inflammatory defences and neuroreparative processes, e.g. brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), holds a certain appeal. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.

  • 2.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI). Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Mindfulness: Relations to attention regulation, decentering, and psychological well-being2013Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The current research project consists of three separate studies. The general aim of this project was to contribute to previous mindfulness research by exploring fundamental aspects of mindfulness in an effort to increase the understanding of mindfulness as a construct as well as its mechanisms. The purpose of the study I was to investigate the relation between mindfulness and sustained and executive attention by comparing Buddhist and Western mindfulness meditators (n = 47) and non-meditators (n = 45) in performance on computerized attention. The main purpose of study II was to compare these meditators and non-meditators on self-reported mindfulness, and also to investigate whether facets of mindfulness mediate the relation between meditation experience and psychological well-being. Study III aimed at investigating the unique effects of mindfulness practice as well as the proposed mindfulness mechanism; decentering. A short-term mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) (n = 46) was compared with relaxation training (n = 40) and a waiting-list group (n = 40) on a battery of tests - executive attention, self-reported mindfulness, decentering, psychological well-being, anxiety, depression, and coping styles – in 126 employees with no prior meditation experience. The results showed no significant differences between meditators and non-meditators either in sustained or executive attention. Meditators rated themselves higher than non-meditators on four of the five facets of mindfulness. The multiple mediation analysis showed that the five mindfulness facets mediated the relationship between meditation experience and psychological well-being but no single facet contributed significantly. Simple mediation analyses indicated, however, that Non-React was the primary mediator. No unique mindfulness effects were found since there were no differences between mindfulness and relaxation in any of the variables. However, the mindfulness group scored higher than the waiting-list group on the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire total scale and psychological wellbeing. Meditators may have an increased awareness of internal processes and the ability to quickly attend to them, but this type of refined attentional ability does not seem to be related to performance on attention tests requiring quick responses to external targets. It may be concluded that effects on attention regulation are of less importance compared to other beneficial psychological and physiological health outcomes due to mindfulness meditation. Mediation analyses supported (i) the notion that meditation experience is related to increased mindfulness, which in turn is associated with improved psychological well-being, and (ii) the idea that increases in mindfulness lead to increased decentering abilities which in turn leads to improved psychological well-being. Possible explanations for the absence of unique group differences between mindfulness and relaxation are that the length of the intervention was too short and the sessions too few, similarities between body exercises in MBI and relaxation, and the lack of group differences on decentering. Investigating unique mindfulness effects to distinguish mindfulness effects from relaxation should be prioritized in future studies. The promising theory of mechanisms proposed in the Buddhist Psychological Model (BPM) needs to be empirically evaluated. MBI-related changes in selfperceptions, value systems, and ethical aspects may play a more important role for improved psychological health than what has previously been recognized. Other Buddhist practices such as loving-kindness meditation and compassion meditation also need to be examined. Finally, an in-depth dialogue between Western researchers, expert meditators, and Buddhist theoreticians may be increasingly important for mindfulness research to advance.

  • 3.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Broberg, Anders
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Meditators and non-meditators on sustained and executive attentional performance2010In: Mental Health, Religion & Culture, ISSN 1367-4676, E-ISSN 1469-9737, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 291-309Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to gain a deeper understanding of the mindfulness construct and the mental health benefits associated with mindfulness-based programmes, the relation between mindfulness and its proposed core component attention was studied. Buddhist and Western mindfulness meditators were compared with non-meditators on tasks of sustained (SART) and executive (the Stroop Task) attention. Relations between self-reported mindfulness (FFMQ) and sustained and executive attention were also analysed. No significant differences were found between meditators and non-meditators either in sustained or executive attention. High scores on the FFMQ total scale and on Describe were related to fewer SART errors. High scores on Describe were also related to low Stroop interference. Mindfulness meditators may have an increased awareness of internal processes and the ability to quickly attend to them but this type of refined attentional ability does not seem to be related to performance on attention tests requiring responses to external targets.

  • 4.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health and Sport.
    Ivarsson, Andreas
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health and Sport.
    Gustafsson, Henrik
    Faculty of Health, Science, and Technology, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Stenling, Andreas
    Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Lindwall, Magnus
    Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Tornberg, Rasmus
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Böröy, Jan
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health and Sport.
    Effects of Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) on Sport-Specific Dispositional Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, and Self-Rated Athletic Performance in a Multiple-Sport Population: an RCT Study2019In: Mindfulness, ISSN 1868-8527, E-ISSN 1868-8535, Vol. 10, no 8, p. 1518-1529Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives

    The aim of the study was to examine mediating effects of emotion regulation and sport-specific dispositional mindfulness on self-rated athletic training performance, following the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) intervention, compared to a Psychological Skills Training (PST) control group.

    Methods

    Sixty-nine competitive elite athletes who did not have any prior experience with mindfulness- and acceptance-based exercises, were recruited and randomly assigned into either a MAC group or a traditional PST group. Latent growth curve analyses were performed to examine longitudinal relationships among the study variables. Mediation analyses were conducted to test if the growth trajectory of each of the proposed mediators mediated the relationship between the intervention and perceived performance (measured at T3).

    Results

    Findings showed that the MAC intervention had an indirect effect on self-rated athletic training performance through changes in dispositional mindfulness and emotion regulation respectively. Further, the MAC-group obtained greater post-test improvements in athletic mindfulness, emotion regulation abilities, and perceived performance compared to the PST group.

    Conclusions

    Overall, findings suggest that dispositional athletic mindfulness and emotion regulation may function as important mechanisms in MAC, and that the MAC approach is a more effective intervention compared to the PST condition in reducing emotion regulation difficulties, as well as enhancing sport-relevant mindfulness skills and perceived athletic training performance in elite sport.

  • 5.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Ivarsson, Andreas
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Lindwall, Magnus
    University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Gustafsson, Henrik
    Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Böröy, Jan
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.
    Mattsson, Emil
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.
    Carnebratt, Jakob
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.
    Sevholt, Simon
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.
    Falkevik, Emil
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.
    Mindfulness Mechanisms in Sports: Mediating Effects of Rumination and Emotion Regulation on Sport-Specific Coping2017In: Mindfulness, ISSN 1868-8527, E-ISSN 1868-8535, Vol. 8, no 5, p. 1354-1363Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The main objective of the project was to examine a proposed theoretical model of mindfulness mechanisms in sports. We conducted two studies (the first study using a cross-sectional design and the second a longitudinal design) to investigate if rumination and emotion regulation mediate the relation between dispositional mindfulness and sport-specific coping. Two hundred and forty-two young elite athletes, drawn from various sports, were recruited for the cross-sectional study. For the longitudinal study, 65 elite athletes were recruited. All analyses were performed using Bayesian statistics. The path analyses showed credible indirect effects of dispositional mindfulness on coping via rumination and emotion regulation in both the cross-sectional study and the longitudinal study. Additionally, the results in both studies showed credible direct effects of dispositional mindfulness on rumination and emotion regulation. Further, credible direct effects of emotion regulation as well as rumination on coping were also found in both studies. Our findings support the theoretical model, indicating that rumination and emotion regulation function as essential mechanisms in the relation between dispositional mindfulness and sport-specific coping skills. Increased dispositional mindfulness in competitive athletes (i.e. by practicing mindfulness) may lead to reductions in rumination, as well as an improved capacity to regulate negative emotions. By doing so, athletes may improve their sport-related coping skills, and thereby enhance athletic performance. © The Author(s) 2017.

  • 6.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Larsman, Pernilla
    Göteborgs universitet, Göteborg, Sverige.
    Broberg, Anders G.
    Göteborgs universitet, Göteborg, Sverige.
    Lundh, Lars-Gunnar
    Lunds universitet, Lund, Sverige.
    Self-reported mindfulness mediates the relation between meditation experience and psychological well-being2011In: Mindfulness, ISSN 1868-8527, E-ISSN 1868-8535, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 49-58Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A well established notion in Buddhist literature is that meditation practice improves the ability to be mindful in daily life which in turn promotes psychological well-being. In order to test this hypothesis the relations between meditation experience, five mindfulness facets and psychological well-being were studied in a sample consisting of Buddhist meditators, Western mindfulness meditators and non-meditators. The meditators scored higher than non-meditators on all mindfulness facets except Describe, but when age and gender were controlled for there were significant differences only on Non-React and Observe. Multiple and simple mediation were tested in a path model framework. Length of meditation experience was related to Non-React and Observe, and there was a similar trend also for Non-Judge, suggesting that these mindfulness facets are the ones most strongly associated with mindfulness meditation practice. The multiple mediation analysis showed an indirect effect of meditation experience on psychological wellbeing via the five mindfulness facets. Simple mediation analyses indicated that Non-React was the primary mediator. These results support the notion that length of meditation experience is related to higher levels of mindfulness, which in turn is associated with improved well-being.

  • 7.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI). Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Lindwall, Magnus
    University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Archer, Trevor
    y of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden & Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden .
    Physical exercise intervention in depressive disorders: Meta-analysis and systematic review2013In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, ISSN 0905-7188, E-ISSN 1600-0838, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 259-272Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous meta-analyses investigating the effect of exercise on depression have included trials where the control condition has been categorized as placebo despite the fact that this particular placebo intervention (e.g., meditation, relaxation) has been recognized as having an antidepressant effect. Because meditation and mindfulness-based interventions are associated with depression reduction, it is impossible to separate the effect of the physical exercise from the meditation-related parts. The present study determined the efficacy of exercise in reducing symptoms of depression compared with no treatment, placebo conditions or usual care among clinically defined depressed adults. Of 89 retrieved studies, 15 passed the inclusion criteria of which 13 studies presented sufficient information for calculating effect sizes. The main result showed a significant large overall effect favoring exercise intervention. The effect size was even larger when only trials that had used no treatment or placebo conditions were analyzed. Nevertheless, effect size was reduced to a moderate level when only studies with high methodological quality were included in the analysis. Exercise may be recommended for people with mild and moderate depression who are willing, motivated, and physically healthy enough to engage in such a program.

  • 8.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Sport Health and Physical activity.
    Lindwall, Magnus
    Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Broberg, Anders G.
    Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    The Effects of a Short-term Mindfulness Based Intervention on Self-reported Mindfulness, Decentering, Executive Attention, Psychological Health, and Coping Style: Examining Unique Mindfulness Effects and Mediators2014In: Mindfulness, ISSN 1868-8527, E-ISSN 1868-8535, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 18-35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The majority of mindfulness intervention studies do not include active control groups. To examine potential unique effects of mindfulness practice and to study the mechanism responsible for beneficial mental health effects associated with mindfulness-based interventions, the present study compared mindfulness meditation with an active control group in a randomised controlled trial. A short-term mindfulness-based intervention (n = 46) was compared with both an active control group—relaxation training (n = 40)—and an inactive wait-list group (n = 40) on self-reported mindfulness and decentering, executive attention, psychological well-being, anxiety, depression, and coping style, in an adult working population with no prior meditation experience. Analyses of covariance showed that the mindfulness group scored higher than the wait-list group on self-reported mindfulness and psychological well-being. However, no differences were found on decentering, anxiety, depression, executive attention, or coping style. Moreover, the study failed to distinguish any unique mindfulness effects since there were no differences between mindfulness and relaxation on any of the variables. Simple mediation analyses, using a bootstrap approach, revealed that decentering acted as a mediator between self-reported mindfulness and psychological well-being. The length of the intervention, the similarities between body scan exercises in MBI and relaxation, and the absence of decentering effects may partly explain the lack of distinct MBI effects, suggesting that MBIs aimed at increasing well-being and problem-focused coping whilst reducing psychological symptoms in a working population should be longer than merely 4 weeks and include more than seven sessions. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  • 9.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Tornberg, Rasmus
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Gustafsson, Henrik
    Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Ivarsson, Andreas
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Practitioners’ reflections of working with the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) approach in team sport settingsIn: Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, ISSN 2152-0704, E-ISSN 2152-0712Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this article was to describe the implementation of a team-based MAC intervention, and discuss important aspects to consider when implementing the MAC protocol in elite team sports. The MAC program contains seven modules in which core concepts such as mindfulness, acceptance, and values-driven behavior are being taught and practiced. We experienced conceptual as well as practical challenges in the application of the MAC protocol. A general recommendation in implementing MAC concepts and exercises for teams is to make the content of the program sport-specific.

  • 10.
    Lilja, Josefine L.
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Frodi-Lundgren, Annika
    Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Johansson Hanse, Jan
    Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI). Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Lundh, Lars-Gunnar
    Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Sköld, Camilla
    Department of Clinical Science, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hansen, Erling
    Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Broberg, Anders G.
    Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire-Reliability and Factor Structure: A Swedish Version2011In: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, ISSN 1650-6073, E-ISSN 1651-2316, Vol. 40, no 4, p. 291-303Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two studies were conducted to assess the Swedish version of the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), which was originally created by Baer et al. (2006). The aim of Study 1 was to examine the psychometric properties of the FFMQ using data from 495 individuals. Quantitative and qualitative analyses resulted in a reduction of the scale by 10 items. Psychometric properties, including internal consistency of the revised instrument, were examined. The Swedish FFMQ provides results comparable to those obtained by Baer. Cronbach’s alphas were high for all the facets. The Swedish FFMQ appears to be a potentially useful tool in measuring mindfulness among Swedish participants. The aim of Study 2 was to test the suggested hierarchical five-factor solution and construct validity, using a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Similar to findings for the English version of the FFMQ, the CFA showed that the Observing facet was not a significant part of an overall self-reported mindfulness structure in a Swedish population with little meditation experience. © 2011 Copyright Swedish Association for Behaviour Therapy.

  • 11.
    Lilja, Josefine L.
    et al.
    Gothenburg Univ, Dept Psychol, S-40530 Gothenburg, Sweden..
    Lundh, Lars-Gunnar
    Lund Univ, Dept Psychol, Lund, Sweden..
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health and Sport.
    Falkenström, Fredrik
    Linkoping Univ, Dept Behav Sci & Learning, Linkoping, Sweden..
    Observing as an Essential Facet of Mindfulness: A Comparison of FFMQ Patterns in Meditating and Non-Meditating Individuals2013In: Mindfulness, ISSN 1868-8527, E-ISSN 1868-8535, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 203-212Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the most comprehensive measures of mindfulness is the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) with five factors-Observing, Describing, Acting with awareness, Non-judging, and Non-reactivity. Hierarchical confirmatory factor analyses, however, have suggested that only four of the FFMQ factors (i.e. all except Observing) were components of "an overall mindfulness construct"-which is puzzling because Observing represents a core aspect of all definitions of mindfulness. The purpose of the present study was to approach this problem by a person-oriented approach, focusing on patterns on the FFMQ scales, rather than linear associations between them. Data on the FFMQ were collected on 817 individuals. Cluster analysis according to the LICUR procedure was used to group these participants in 13 clusters, according to their profiles of scores on the five FFMQ scales. Of the participants, 325 were categorized as meditators and 317 as non-meditators. To test hypotheses about the relation between Observing and mindfulness (which we assumed should be higher among meditators), the meditators/non-meditators categorization was cross-tabulated with the FFMQ clusters. The results showed that all clusters in which meditators were over-represented had high scores on Observing, and all clusters in which meditators were under-represented had low scores on Observing-which supports the hypothesis that mindfulness is related to high levels of Observing. The relationship between Observing and Non-judging, however, was found to be more complex than expected. The results are discussed in terms of mindfulness seen as a multidimensional skill, which may develop differently in various subgroups of individuals.

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