Differential Item Functioning on the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire Is Minimal in Demographically Matched Meditators and Nonmeditators

Assessment. 2011 Mar;18(1):3-10. doi: 10.1177/1073191110392498. Epub 2010 Dec 30.


A recent study of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire reported high levels of differential item functioning (DIF) for 18 of its 39 items in meditating and nonmeditating samples that were not demographically matched. In particular, meditators were more likely to endorse positively worded items whereas nonmeditators were more likely to deny negatively worded (reverse-scored) items. The present study replicated these analyses in demographically matched samples of meditators and nonmeditators (n = 115 each) and found that evidence for DIF was minimal. There was little or no evidence for differential relationships between positively and negatively worded items for meditators and nonmeditators. Findings suggest that DIF based on items' scoring direction is not problematic when the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire is used to compare demographically similar meditators and nonmeditators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Thinking / physiology*