Flourishing Mindfully: Mindfulness Moderates the Associations of Stress, Psychopathology, and Grit with Flourishing

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Lucas S. LaFreniere, Sarah E. Lord


Dispositional mindfulness includes greater present-moment attention and lower maladaptive responses to experience. Thus, theory proposes that dispositional mindfulness may be related to functional flourishing through greater engagement in valued activities, as well as less reactivity to the states that interfere with them (e.g., stress). This cross-sectional study tested the concurrent relationships proposed in these hypotheses. A random sample of 394 undergraduate students completed a survey that included the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale Revised, the Perceived Stress Scale, The Patient Health Questionnaire for Anxiety and Depression 4, the Short Grit Scale, and the Flourishing Scale. We used multiple linear regression to analyze a single combined model in which functional flourishing was predicted by mindfulness, stress, anxiety/depression, grit’s subfactors, and the interactions of mindfulness with each predictor. Higher mindfulness was significantly associated with higher functional flourishing. Higher mindfulness also significantly moderated the influence of stress and anxiety/depression on flourishing, weakening their negative associations. Lastly, mindfulness significantly strengthened the positive association between flourishing and perseverance, a grit subfactor. As theorized, mindfulness may be 1) associated with higher functional flourishing, 2) weaken the negative influence of aversive experiences on flourishing, and 3) strengthen the positive influence of beneficial traits on flourishing.

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