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Decentering as a Common Link among Mindfulness, Cognitive Reappraisal, and Social Anxiety

  • Sarah Hayes-Skelton (a1) and Jessica Graham (a1)


Background: The tendency to employ both cognitive reappraisal and mindfulness are associated with reduced trait social anxiety; however, it is unclear whether reappraisal and mindfulness are associated with social anxiety through the same mechanisms. It has been proposed that decentering, or the process of seeing thoughts or feelings as objective events in the mind rather than personally identifying with them, may be a key mechanism underlying both cognitive reappraisal and mindfulness. Aims: To examine the relationships between reappraisal, mindfulness, decentering, and social anxiety. Method: This study utilized structural equation modeling to examine the relationships among cognitive reappraisal, mindfulness, decentering, and social anxiety in a large cross-sectional study. Results: Results indicate that the relationship between mindfulness and social anxiety is partially accounted for by decentering, whereas the relationship between cognitive reappraisal and social anxiety is more fully accounted for by decentering. Conclusions: These results imply that decentering may be a common mechanism underlying both cognitive reappraisal and mindfulness, although mindfulness may also affect social anxiety through additional mechanisms. However, given the cross-sectional nature of these findings, results should be considered preliminary, with future research being needed to further elucidate these relationships.


Corresponding author

Reprint requests to Sarah Hayes-Skelton, University of Massachusetts Boston – Psychology, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, Massachusetts 02125, USA. E-mail:


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Decentering as a Common Link among Mindfulness, Cognitive Reappraisal, and Social Anxiety

  • Sarah Hayes-Skelton (a1) and Jessica Graham (a1)


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Decentering as a Common Link among Mindfulness, Cognitive Reappraisal, and Social Anxiety

  • Sarah Hayes-Skelton (a1) and Jessica Graham (a1)
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