Recent studies have suggested that sensory-processing sensitivity correlates to poor psychological and physical health. However, it remains unclear how this occurs. Sensory-processing sensitivity can be understood as sensitivity to sensations without the presence of intentional awareness and a nonreactive attitude, which are the components of mindfulness. We tested the hypothesis that dispositional mindfulness mediates the relationship between sensory-processing sensitivity and trait anxiety, well-being and psychosomatic symptoms. We analyzed data from 563 participating young adults living in Japan. Multiple mediation analysis showed that the four facets (nonreactivity, nonjudging, describing, and acting with awareness) of mindfulness partially mediated the effects of sub-factors of sensory-processing sensitivity (low sensory threshold and ease of excitation) on trait anxiety. Nonreactivity, describing, and acting with awareness partially mediated the effect of low sensory threshold on well-being and fully mediated the effect of ease of excitation. Nonjudging and acting with awareness partially mediated the effects of low sensory threshold and ease of excitation on psychosomatic symptoms. As a whole, the mediation hypotheses were supported, and it was determined that the improvement of dispositional mindfulness may prove effective for the psychological and physical problems of people with high sensory-processing sensitivity.
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