Mindfulness Meditation is Associated with Decreases in Partner Negative Affect in Daily Life

May, C. J., Ostafin, B. & Snippe, E., 2020, In : European Journal of Social Psychology. 50, 1, p. 35-45 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

To date, very little research has examined the extrapersonal effects of mindfulness meditation practice. In this study, we investigated whether individual meditation practice exerted an influence on friends or romantic partners. Thirty-five dyads completed an eight-week single-subject protocol using an A-B-A-B design to compare non-meditation phases with meditation phases. One member of each pair was randomly assigned to meditate daily for 15-minutes during the B-phases of the study; the other dyad member did not meditate in either the A or B phases. Daily diaries for each participant assessed negative affect, positive affect, and facets of mindfulness. For participants in the intermittent meditation condition, meditation was associated with decreased negative affect, increased positive affect, and higher scores on the mindfulness facets of observing, describing, and nonreactivity to inner experience. Results further demonstrated that the negative affect of non-meditating partners decreased during the weeks that their partner meditated and was lower on days that their partner meditated. We did not find similar results for positive affect or mindfulness at the group level. Exploratory analyses suggested that the extrapersonal effects of meditation days on a partner’s negative affect might be stronger in romantic couples. This study indicates that 15-minutes of daily meditation in novice meditators can decrease the negative affect of relationship partners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • negative affect, mindfulness, meditation, close relationships, dyadic, daily diary

ID: 81899002