Assessing decentering: validation, psychometric properties, and clinical usefulness of the Experiences Questionnaire in a Spanish sample

Behav Ther. 2014 Nov;45(6):863-71. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2014.05.004. Epub 2014 Jun 2.


Decentering is defined as the ability to observe one's thoughts and feelings in a detached manner. The Experiences Questionnaire (EQ) is a self-report instrument that originally assessed decentering and rumination. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of EQ-Decentering and to explore its clinical usefulness. The 11-item EQ-Decentering subscale was translated into Spanish and psychometric properties were examined in a sample of 921 adult individuals, 231 with psychiatric disorders and 690 without. The subsample of nonpsychiatric participants was also split according to their previous meditative experience (meditative participants, n=341; and nonmeditative participants, n=349). Additionally, differences among these three subgroups were explored to determine clinical validity of the scale. Finally, EQ-Decentering was administered twice in a group of borderline personality disorder, before and after a 10-week mindfulness intervention. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated acceptable model fit, sbχ(2)=243.8836 (p<.001), CFI=.939, GFI=.936, SRMR=.040, and RMSEA=.06 (.060-.077), and psychometric properties were found to be satisfactory (reliability: Cronbach's α=.893; convergent validity: r>.46; and divergent validity: r<-.35). The scale detected changes in decentering after a 10-session intervention in mindfulness (t=-4.692, p<.00001). Differences among groups were significant (F=134.8, p<.000001), where psychiatric participants showed the lowest scores compared to nonpsychiatric meditative and nonmeditative participants. The Spanish version of the EQ-Decentering is a valid and reliable instrument to assess decentering either in clinical and nonclinical samples. In addition, the findings show that EQ-Decentering seems an adequate outcome instrument to detect changes after mindfulness-based interventions.

Keywords: Experiences Questionnaire; decentering; metacognitive awareness; mindfulness.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / therapy
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult