Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Mark Whisman, PhD

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Mindfulness has become increasingly popular due to its accessibility, ease of use, and effectiveness in symptom management. This study aimed to investigate trait mindfulness as a potential buffer of the association between external (stress) and internal (neuroticism) stressors and relationship quality in college undergraduates involved in romantic relationships. Participants (N= 146) were undergraduate students from the University of Colorado Boulder who were either married, cohabiting, or involved in an exclusive and committed romantic relationship for at least 6 months. Cross-sectional data from survey measures showed that mindfulness was positively associated with relationship satisfaction and neuroticism was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction. In addition, both neuroticism and stress were negatively correlated with mindfulness, and neuroticism was positively correlated with stress. Mindfulness did not moderate the association between stress and relationship satisfaction or between neuroticism and relationship satisfaction. Although trait mindfulness did not moderate the associations between relationship satisfaction and either stress or neuroticism, the association between mindfulness and relationship satisfaction was incremental to their shared association with stress. Future research is needed on mindfulness and other coping mechanisms in college students involved in romantic relationships.

Keywords: mindfulness, relationship satisfaction, college, stress, neuroticism