Investigating the role of psychological inflexibility, mindfulness, and self-compassion in PTSD

Zhen Hadassah Cheng, Crystal C. Lozier, Meaghan M. Lewis, Maya E. O'Neil, Jason B. Luoma, Benjamin J. Morasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Psychological inflexibility has been linked to a variety of mental health disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The purpose of this cross-sectional self-report study was to examine how psychological inflexibility, along with closely related concepts such as mindfulness and self-compassion, are associated with PTSD among a clinical sample using PTSD DSM-5 criteria. A sample of 200 veterans (mean age = 54.6; 71.0% male, 25.5% female) were recruited from mental health clinics within a Veteran Affairs Medical Center. Controlling for mindfulness and self-compassion, veterans with PTSD had significantly higher levels of psychological inflexibility compared to those without PTSD. In addition, psychological inflexibility was associated with overall PTSD severity, even after controlling for mindfulness, self-compassion, depression, alcohol and substance use, and demographic variables. The observing facet of mindfulness was significantly associated with higher levels of PTSD, while the describing facet was related to lower overall PTSD symptoms. Self-compassion was no longer associated with PTSD symptoms when controlling for other variables. These findings support the relationship between psychological inflexibility and DSM-5 PTSD. Targeting psychological inflexibility may be a key focal point in improving PTSD-related treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Contextual Behavioral Science
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Mindfulness
  • PTSD
  • Psychological inflexibility
  • Self-compassion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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