A Meta-Analytic Review of the Effects of Mindfulness on Anger and Aggression

O’Dean, S. (UNSW Sydney), Summerell, E. (UNSW Sydney), Denson, T., (UNSW Sydney), Harmon-Jones, E. (UNSW Sydney)

Mindfulness has been reviewed as a promising intervention for anger and aggression. This meta-analysis examined the relationship between mindfulness, anger and aggression variables in adult populations. Data from included studies (N = 64) was analysed using R package ‘metafor’, fit to a multilevel mixed effects meta-analytic model (kanger = 246, kaggression = 141). Results indicated a small-to-medium negative relationship between mindfulness and both anger and aggression. We also investigated potential moderators. Results of moderation analyses indicated mindfulness-based intervention type to be a significant moderator for both anger and aggression. Publication year, study design and mean age of participants were also significant moderators of the relationship between mindfulness and aggression. For anger, the only other significant moderator was the study the country was conducted in.  Overall, results suggest mindfulness could be a novel treatment strategy for dealing with anger and aggression. However, more research needs to be done into the mechanisms and moderators of the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions.

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