Date of Award

1-21-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Anson E. Long, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Beverly Goodwin, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

John A. Mills, Ph.D., ABPP

Abstract

The present study examined whether mindfulness or empathy is a better predictor of homophobia. Mindfulness training has been shown to impart a wide range of physical, emotional, and mental health benefits to practitioners, not the least of which is an increase in empathy. Research has also shown that developing empathy is one of the most effective ways to reduce prejudice. This study hypothesized that mindfulness should be at least as effective as empathy in predicting scores on a homophobia measure. Two hundred undergraduate students (159 females and 41 males) from a state university in rural Pennsylvania participated in the present study. Participants completed three measures, the Homophobia Scale (HS), the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and a demographic survey. A series of linear regressions demonstrated that empathy was a significant predictor of homophobia but mindfulness was not. While this study did not support the hypothesized association between mindfulness and homophobia, the failure to replicate previous research showing that empathy could predict mindfulness suggested that further research in this area, including expanded research designs and alternative measures, may be fruitful. These and other future research implications are discussed.

Share

COinS