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Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS): factorial validity and psychometric properties in a sample of medical students in Malaysia

Cheng-Kar Phang (Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia)
Firdaus Mukhtar (Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia)
Normala Ibrahim (Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia)
Sherina Mohd. Sidik (Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 7 November 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The principles of mindfulness have been increasingly applied in medical education for stress reduction. One of the most often used measures for mindfulness research is the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). The purpose of this paper is to determine the factor structure, and investigate its reliability and validity in a sample of multi-ethnic medical students in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 590 medical students were involved in the study. After minor modification of the MAAS, a test battery including sociodemographic information, the MAAS, Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Five-facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS), and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was administered to the participants.

Findings

Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a one-dimensional factor structure of the MAAS. Cronbach’s α coefficient of the scale was 0.92 and in a sub-sample (n=118), it showed satisfactory temporal stability in two weeks period. There were significant positive correlations with SHS, SWLS, and four subscales of FFMQ scores (convergent validity); and negative correlations (discriminant validity) with the DASS and PSS scores (p<0.05). In another sub-sample (n=52) who participated in a four-week mindfulness-based intervention, the scale showed significant change in scores (p=0.002).

Originality/value

The study provided preliminary results supporting the use of the MAAS as a valid, reliable and stable factor structure of mindfulness measure among medical students in Malaysia.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UPM, and a research grant from UPM (project number: 04-05-11-1583RU). The authors would like to thank the medical students for participating in the study.

Citation

Phang, C.-K., Mukhtar, F., Ibrahim, N. and Mohd. Sidik, S. (2016), "Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS): factorial validity and psychometric properties in a sample of medical students in Malaysia", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 305-316. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-02-2015-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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