The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) is one of the most common self-report instruments used in scientific literature to assess mindfulness. However, mixed evidence has been provided regarding its psychometric properties. Among them, the FFMQ seems to present latent classes or profiles with specific patterns in its facets, which might explain said mixed evidence. This study explores mindfulness profiles in the Spanish population using the short form of the FFMQ (FFMQ-SF) and its relations with relevant constructs (i.e., decentering, self-compassion, psychological well-being, psychopathology, positive and negative states).
A general population sample of 826 participants completed instruments measuring mindfulness and related constructs. Latent profile analyses were applied to the FFMQ-SF facets, and profile membership of participants was estimated for relations with related constructs.
Three latent profiles were found: General Mindfulness, Judgmentally Observing, and Non-judgmentally Aware. General Mindfulness showed expected relations with other constructs, but the other two profiles showed some relations opposite to prior literature: The Judgmentally Observing profile displayed functional behaviors while the Non-judgmentally Aware profile showed an inverse mitigated pattern. Results could not be explained by gender, age, level of studies, or minimum experience with meditation.
Most people (68%) fall into mindfulness profiles that can be regarded as a continuum (e.g., an overall mindfulness factor). However, the FFMQ-SF shows heterogeneities in its facets due to two unique latent profiles, namely “Judgmentally Observing” (7.4%) and “Non-judgmentally Aware” (24.8%). While the structure of these profiles was replicated, relations with relevant psychological constructs contradicted previous literature. Implications and recommendations for future studies are discussed.