The nature and potential benefit of awareness and experiential acceptance in adolescence
remains neglected and understudied. To address this gap in the literature, 776 students (50%
female) in Grade 10 completed measures of mindfulness, emotional awareness, and experiential
acceptance, as well as measures of major personality traits. To study prospective
changes, assessments of emotional well-being were completed across a 1-year interval.
Analyses revealed that “Acting with Awareness” (engaging fully in one’s current activity with
undivided attention), emotional awareness, and experiential acceptance where all linked to
prosocial tendencies and uniquely predicted increases in well-being across the year.
Observing experience (noticing, observing, and attending to a variety of stimuli) was correlated
with positive and negative aspects of personality and did not predict changes in wellbeing.
We discuss the implications for understanding awareness and acceptance in youth.
2010 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.