A comparison of decentering across demographic groups and meditation experience: Support for the measurement invariance of the Experiences Questionnaire

Kristin Naragon-Gainey, Tierney P McMahon, Megan Strowger, Ryan J Lackner, T H Stanley Seah, Michael T Moore, David M Fresco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Theory and prior research suggests that decentering-an objective, distanced perspective on one's internal experiences-may vary based upon characteristics such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, and meditation experience. However, little is known about whether decentering measures are comparable in their meaning and interpretation when administered to individuals with different group membership (e.g., men or women; younger or older adults, etc.). The current study examined the measurement invariance of the Experiences Questionnaire (Fresco et al., 2007), a commonly used measure of decentering, evaluating age, gender, race/ethnicity, and meditation experience in three samples (students, community members, and clinical participants). Each sample was tested separately to assess the generalizability of results. The Experiences Questionnaire demonstrated full or partial measurement invariance in all cases, suggesting that scores are not biased based upon group membership and may be compared across individuals who vary in age, race/ethnicity, gender, and meditation experience. The current study also examined mean differences in decentering by groups, finding some evidence that decentering scores are higher for men, racial/ethnic minorities, older adults, and individuals with more meditation experiences. Implications are discussed for assessing decentering in diverse samples. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Assessment
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


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