Mindfulness, Valuing, and Emotion Regulation in the Prediction of Psychological Distress among University Students





Psychological distress , Mindfulness, Values, Emotion regulation


The present study aims to examine the role of mindfulness, valuing (progress and obstruction), and strategies for emotion regulation (reappraisal and suppression) in prediction of psychological distress among university students. A total of 332 undergraduate students (237 females, 95 males) from the Faculty of Education of one state and one private university participated in the study. The data, which was analyzed by using hierarchical multiple regression, indicated that valuing and mindfulness were significant predictors of psychological distress. On the other hand, emotion regulation, which encompasses reappraisal and suppression, was seen to be an insignificant predictor of psychological distress. Among the variables, the obstruction subscale of valuing contributed most to the model. Overall, this study highlights that having a ‘value-based life’ and ‘mindful living’ are protective factors which may reduce the likelihood of experiencing high levels of psychological distress among university students.  The results were discussed in the light of the literature.


Aldao, A., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Schweizer, S. (2010). Emotion-regulation strategies across psychopathology: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(2), 217-237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2009.11.004

Aydın, Y., & Aydın, G. (2017). Değer Verme Ölçeğini (Valuing Questionnaire) Türk kültürüne uyarlama çalışması. Abant İzzet Baysal Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 17(1), 64–77.

Baroni, D., Nerini, A., Matera, C., & Stefanile, C. (2018). Mindfulness and emotional distress: The mediating role of psychological well-being. Current Psychology, 37(3), 467-476. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-016-9524-1

Benton, S. A., Robertson, J. M., Tseng, W. C., Newton, F. B., & Benton, S. L. (2003). Changes in counseling center client problems across 13 years. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34(1), 66. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7028.34.1.66

Brockman, R., Ciarrochi, J., Parker, P., & Kashdan, T. (2017). Emotion regulation strategies in daily life: Mindfulness, cognitive reappraisal and emotion suppression. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 46(2), 91-113. https://doi.org/10.1080/16506073.2016.1218926

Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822-848. http://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.822

Brummer, L., Stopa, L., & Bucks, R. (2014). The influence of age on emotion regulation strategies and psychological distress. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 42(6), 668-681. https://doi.org/10.1017/S135246581300045

Butler, E. A., Lee, T. L., & Gross, J. J. (2007). Emotion regulation and culture: Are the social consequences of emotion suppression culture-specific?. Emotion, 7(1), 30-48. https://doi.org/10.1037/1528-3542.7.1.30

Caron, J., & Liu, A. (2011). Factors associated with psychological distress in the Canadian population: A comparison of low-income and non low-income sub-groups. Community Mental Health Journal, 47(3), 318-330. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-010-9306-4

Carvalho, S. A., Palmeira, L., Pinto-Gouveia, J., Gillanders, D., & Castilho, P. (2018). The utility of the valuing questionnaire in chronic pain. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 9, 21-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2018.06.002

Chambers, R., Gullone, E., & Allen, N. B. (2009). Mindful emotion regulation: An integrative review. Clinical Psychology Review, 29(6), 560-572. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2009.06.005

Chan, D. W. (1995). The two scaled versions of the Chinese General Health Questionnaire: A comparative analysis. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 30(2), 85-91.

Creswell, J. D., Welch, W. T., Taylor, S. E., Sherman, D. K., Gruenewald, T. L., & Mann, T. (2005). Affirmation of personal values buffers neuroendocrine and psychological stress responses. Psychological Science, 16(11), 846-851. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01624.x

Cotter, D. D. (2011). Psychometric evaluation of the Valued Living Questionnaire: Comparing distressed and normative samples. Western Michigan University. Dissertations. 3089. https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/dissertations/3089

Davis, E. L., Deane, F. P., Lyons, G. C., Barclay, G. D., Bourne, J., & Connolly, V. (2017). Feasibility randomised controlled trial of a self-help acceptance and commitment therapy intervention for grief and psychological distress in carers of palliative care patients. Journal of Health Psychology, 25(3), 322-339. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105317715091

De Castella, K., Goldin, P., Jazaieri, H., Ziv, M., Dweck, C. S., & Gross, J. J. (2013). Beliefs about emotion: Links to emotion regulation, well-being, and psychological distress. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 35(6), 497-505. https://doi.org/10.1080/01973533.2013.840632

De France, K., & Hollenstein, T. (2017). Assessing emotion regulation repertoires: The Regulation of Emotion Systems Survey. Personality and Individual Differences, 119, 204-215. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.07.018

Dindo, L., Johnson, A. L., Lang, B., Rodrigues, M., Martin, L., & Jorge, R. (2020). Development and evaluation of a 1-day acceptance and commitment therapy workshop for veterans with comorbid chronic pain, TBI, and psychological distress: Outcomes from a pilot study. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2020.105954

Drake, C. E., Masuda, A., Dalsky, D., Stevens, K. T., Kramer, S., Primeaux, S. J., ... & Mitamura, T. (2019). Examining US and Japanese college students’ differences in psychological distress: The mediating roles of valued action and experiential avoidance. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 41(1), 25-40. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10447-018-9342-2

Dryman, M. T., & Heimberg, R. G. (2018). Emotion regulation in social anxiety and depression: A systematic review of expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal. Clinical Psychology Review, 65, 17-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2018.07.004

Duan, W. (2016). Mediation role of individual strengths in dispositional mindfulness and mental health. Personality and Individual Differences, 99, 7-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.04.078

Eşkisu, M., Çam, Z., Gelibolu, S., & Rasmussen, K. R. (2020). Trait mindfulness as a protective factor in connections between psychological issues and Facebook addiction among Turkish university students. Studia Psychologica, 62(3), 213-231. https://doi.org/10.31577/sp.2020.03.801

Ford, B. Q., Lam, P., John, O. P., & Mauss, I. B. (2018). The psychological health benefits of accepting negative emotions and thoughts: Laboratory, diary, and longitudinal evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115(6), 1075. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000157

Grégoire, S., Doucerain, M., Morin, L., & Finkelstein-Fox, L. (2021). The relationship between value-based actions, psychological distress and well-being: A multilevel diary study. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 20, 79-88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2021.03.006

Gross, J. J. (1998). The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 271-299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.2.3.271

Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 348-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.85.2.348

Hanley, A. W., de Vibe, M., Solhaug, I., Farb, N., Goldin, P. R., Gross, J. J., & Garland, E. L. (2021). Modeling the mindfulness‐to‐meaning theory's mindful reappraisal hypothesis: Replication with longitudinal data from a randomized controlled study. Stress and Health, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.3035

Harnett, P. H., Reid, N., Loxton, N. J., & Lee, N. (2016). The relationship between trait mindfulness, personality and psychological distress: A revised reinforcement sensitivity theory perspective. Personality and Individual Differences, 99, 100-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.04.085

Hayes, A. M., & Feldman, G. (2004). Clarifying the construct of mindfulness in the context of emotion regulation and the process of change in therapy. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11(3), 255-262. https://doi.org/10.1093/clipsy.bph080

Hayes, S. C., & Lillis, J. (2012). Acceptance and commitment therapy: Theories of psychotherapy series. American Psychological Association.

Hayes, S. C., Luoma, J. B., Bond, F. W., Masuda, A., & Lillis, J. (2006). Acceptance and commitment therapy: Model, processes and outcomes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44(1), 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2005.06.006

Hayes, S., Strosahl, K., & Wilson, K. G. (2003). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. The Guilford Press.

Hayes, S., Strosahl, K., Bunting, K., Twohig, M., & Wilson, K. G. (2010). What is acceptance and commitment therapy? In S. C. Hayes & K. Strosahl (Eds.), A practical guide to acceptance and commitment therapy. Springer.

Hu, T., Zhang, D., Wang, J., Mistry, R., Ran, G., & Wang, X. (2014). Relation between emotion regulation and mental health: a meta-analysis review. Psychological Reports, 114(2), 341-362. https://doi.org/10.2466%2F03.20.PR0.114k22w4

Isaacs, S. (2018). Stress-related exhaustion and emotion regulation among university students. Unpublished master’s thesis, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Swedish. http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1228485/FULLTEXT01.pdf

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144-156. https://doi.org/10.1093/clipsy/bpg016

Larcombe, W., Finch, S., Sore, R., Murray, C. M., Kentish, S., Mulder, R. A., ... & Williams, D. A. (2016). Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of psychological distress among students at an Australian university. Studies in Higher Education, 41(6), 1074-1091. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2014.966072

Liverant, G. I., Brown, T. A., Barlow, D. H., & Roemer, L. (2008). Emotion regulation in unipolar depression: The effects of acceptance and suppression of subjective emotional experience on the intensity and duration of sadness and negative affect. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46(11), 1201-1209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2008.08.001

Matud, M. P., Bethencourt, J. M., & Ibáñez, I. (2015). Gender differences in psychological distress in Spain. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 61(6), 560-568. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0020764014564801

Medical Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/distress

Miller, A. N., & Orsillo, S. M. (2020). Values, acceptance, and belongingness in graduate school: Perspectives from underrepresented minority students. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 15, 197-206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.01.002

Myers, D. G. (2000). The funds, friends, and faith of happy people. American Psychologist, 55(1), 56-67. https://doi.org/10.1037//0003-066X.55,1.56

Myklestad, I., Røysamb, E., & Tambs, K. (2012). Risk and protective factors for psychological distress among adolescents: A family study in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 47(5), 771-782.

Özyesil, Z., Arslan, C., Kesici, S., & Deniz, M. (2011). Adaptation of the mindful attention awareness scale into Turkish. Eğitim ve Bilim-Education and Science, 36(160), 224-235.

Parto, M., & Besharat, M. A. (2011). Mindfulness, psychological well-being and psychological distress in adolescents: Assessing the mediating variables and mechanisms of autonomy and self-regulation. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 578-582. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.112

Pevalin, D. J. (2000). Multiple applications of the GHQ-12 in a general population sample: An investigation of long-term retest effects. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 35(11), 508-512.

Reilly, E. D., Ritzert, T. R., Scoglio, A. A. J., Mote, J., Fukuda, S. D., Ahern, M. E., & Kelly, M. M. (2019). A systematic review of values measures in acceptance and commitment therapy research. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 12, 290–304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2018.10.004

Rickardsson, J., Zetterqvist, V., Kemani, M. K., Holmström, L., Andersson, E., & Wicksell, R. K. (2019). Assessing values–psychometric properties of the Swedish version of the Valuing Questionnaire in adults with chronic pain. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 14, 40-49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2019.08.009

Richmond, S., Hasking, P., & Meaney, R. (2017). Psychological distress and non-suicidal self-injury: The mediating roles of rumination, cognitive reappraisal, and expressive suppression. Archives of Suicide Research, 21(1), 62-72. https://doi.org/10.1080/13811118.2015.1008160

Roemer, A., Sutton, A., Grimm, C., & Medvedev, O. N. (2021). Differential contribution of the Five Facets of Mindfulness to well-being and psychological distress. Mindfulness, 12(3), 693-700. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01535-y

Ruiz, F. J. (2012). Acceptance and commitment therapy versus traditional cognitive behavioral therapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of current empirical evidence. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 12(3), 333–357.

Schieman, S., Van Gundy, K., & Taylor, J. (2001). Status, role, and resource explanations for age patterns in psychological distress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 42(1), 80-96.

Schwartz, S. H., & Sortheix, F. (2018). Values and subjective well-being. In E. Diener, S. Oishi, & L. Tay (Eds.), Handbook of Well-Being (pp. 1-25). Noba Scholar. Retrieved from http://www.nobascholar.com/chapters/51

Smout, M., Davies, M., Burns, N., & Christie, A. (2014). Development of the valuing questionnaire (VQ). Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 3(3), 164-172. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2014.06.001

Troy, A. S., Shallcross, A. J., & Mauss, I. B. (2013). A person-by-situation approach to emotion regulation: Cognitive reappraisal can either help or hurt, depending on the context. Psychological Science, 24, 2505–2514. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613496434

Xiao, H., Carney, D. M., Youn, S. J., Janis, R. A., Castonguay, L. G., Hayes, J. A., & Locke, B. D. (2017). Are we in crisis? National mental health and treatment trends in college counseling centers. Psychological Services, 14(4), 407–415. https://doi.org/10.1037/ser0000130

Ünlü Kaynakçı, F.Z., & Yerin Güneri, O. (2022). Psychological distress among university students: the role of mindfulness, decentering, reappraisal and emotion regulation. Current Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-02682-8

Vowles, K. E., & McCracken, L. M. (2010). Comparing the role of psychological flexibility and traditional pain management coping strategies in chronic pain treatment outcomes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(2), 141–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2009.09.011

White, R. G., Gumley, A. I., McTaggart, J., Rattrie, L., McConville, D., Cleare, S., & Mitchell, G. (2013). Depression and anxiety following psychosis: Associations with mindfulness and psychological flexibility. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 41(1), 34–51. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1352465812000239

Yurtsever, G. (2008). Negotiators' profit predicted by cognitive reappraisal, suppression of emotions, misrepresentation of information, and tolerance of ambiguity. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 106(2), 590-608. https://doi.org/10.2466/pms.106.2.590-608

Additional Files



How to Cite

Aydın, G., & Ünlü Kaynakçı, F. Z. (2022). Mindfulness, Valuing, and Emotion Regulation in the Prediction of Psychological Distress among University Students. Psycho-Educational Research Reviews, 11(3), 623–635. https://doi.org/10.52963/PERR_Biruni_V11.N3.16