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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(5), 480; doi:10.3390/ijerph13050480

Physical Aggression and Mindfulness among College Students: Evidence from China and the United States

1
Division of Physical Education, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai 200433, China
2
Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson Univistry, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
3
Department of Philosophy and Religion, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 13 February 2016 / Revised: 24 April 2016 / Accepted: 25 April 2016 / Published: 10 May 2016
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Abstract

Background: The link between trait mindfulness and several dimensions of aggression (verbal, anger and hostility) has been documented, while the link between physical aggression and trait mindfulness remains less clear. Method: We used two datasets: one United States sample from 300 freshmen males from Clemson University, South Carolina and a Chinese sample of 1516 freshmen students from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Multiple regressions were conducted to examine the association between mindfulness (measured by Mindful Attention and Awareness Scale (MAAS)) and each of the four subscales of aggression. Results: Among the Clemson sample (N = 286), the mindfulness scale had a significant negative association with each of the four subscales of aggression: Hostility: β = −0.62, p < 0.001; Verbal: β = −0.37, p < 0.001; Physical: β = −0.29, p < 0.001; Anger: β = −0.44, p < 0.001. Among the Shanghai male subsample, the mindfulness scale had a significant negative association with each of the four subscales of aggression: Hostility: β = −0.57, p < 0.001; Verbal: β = −0.37, p < 0.001; Physical: β = −0.35, p < 0.001; Anger: β = −0.58, p < 0.001. Among the Shanghai female subsample (N = 512), the mindfulness scale had a significant negative association with each of the four subscales of aggression: Hostility: β = −0.62, p < 0.001; Verbal: β = −0.41, p < 0.001; Physical: β = −0.52, p < 0.001; and Anger: β = −0.64, p < 0.001. Discussion: Our study documents the negative association between mindfulness and physical aggression in two non-clinical samples. Future studies could explore whether mindfulness training lowers physical aggression among younger adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: mindfulness; aggression; younger adults; adolescents; college; China mindfulness; aggression; younger adults; adolescents; college; China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gao, Y.; Shi, L.; Smith, K.C.; Kingree, J.B.; Thompson, M. Physical Aggression and Mindfulness among College Students: Evidence from China and the United States. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 480.

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