Mindfulness, Self-compassion, Self-efficacy, and Gender as Predictors of Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Well-being
First Online: 22 September 2013 DOI:
Cite this article as: Soysa, C.K. & Wilcomb, C.J. Mindfulness (2015) 6: 217. doi:10.1007/s12671-013-0247-1 Abstract
We examined facets of mindfulness (describing, awareness, non-judging, and non-reactivity), three dimensions of negative self-compassion (self-judgment, isolation, and overidentification), self-efficacy, and gender as predictors of depression, anxiety, stress, and well-being among 204 undergraduates in the USA. Although there is overlap across these phenomena, previous research has not examined them together. Describing, non-judging, and awareness (inversely), as well as isolation and self-judgment, predicted depression. Only mindful non-judging and non-reactivity predicted anxiety (inversely). Non-judging, awareness, and non-reactivity (inversely), as well as isolation, predicted stress. Mindful describing and non-judging, together with self-efficacy and gender, predicted well-being. After accounting for self-efficacy, self-compassion, and gender, facets of mindfulness contributed unique variance in predicting depression, anxiety, stress, and well-being. We confirmed the importance of mindful non-judging in predicting distress (inversely) and well-being and identified the particular contributions of mindful describing for depression (inversely) and well-being. We established the value of mindful non-reactivity (inversely) for anxiety and stress. Additionally, we confirmed the relevance of self-judgment and isolation for depression and of isolation for stress. Finally, we established self-efficacy and gender as predictors of well-being. The preceding findings speak to the importance of investigating mindfulness, self-compassion, self-efficacy, and gender together in predicting depression, anxiety, stress, and well-being.
Keywords Mindfulness Self-compassion Self-efficacy Gender Depression Anxiety Stress Well-being References
Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Hopkins, J., Krietemeyer, J., & Toney, L. (2006). Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness.
, 27–45. doi:
Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Lykins, E., Button, D., Krietemeyer, J., Sauer, S., & Williams, J. M. G. (2008). Construct validity of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire in meditating and nonmeditating samples.
, 329–342. doi:
Baer, R. A., Lykins, E. B., & Peters, J. R. (2012). Mindfulness and self-compassion as predictors of psychological wellbeing in long-term meditators and matched nonmeditators.
The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7
, 230–238. doi:
Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning.
Educational Psychologist, 28
, 117–148. doi:
Bandura, A. (2006). Adolescent development from an agentic perspective. In F. Pajares & T. Urdan (Eds.),
Self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents (pp. 4–8). Greenwich: Information Age Publishing.
Bayram, N., & Bilgel, N. (2008). The prevalence and socio-demographic correlations of depression, anxiety, and stress among a group of university students.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol, 43
, 667–672. doi:
Bohlmeijer, E., ten Klooster, P. M., Fledderus, M., Veehof, M., & Baer, R. (2011). Psychometric properties of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire in depressed adults and development of a short form.
, 308–320. doi:
Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being.
J Pers Soc Psychol, 84
, 822–848. doi:
Caldwell, K., Emery, L., Harrison, M., & Greeson, J. (2011). Changes in mindfulness, well-being, and sleep quality in college students through taijiquan courses: A cohort control study.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 17
, 931–938. doi:
CrossRef PubMedCentral PubMed
Carmody, J., & Baer, R. A. (2008). Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program.
J Behav Med, 31
, 23–33. doi:
Cash, M., & Whittingham, K. (2010). What facets of mindfulness contribute to psychological well-being and depressive, anxious, and stress-related symptomatology?
, 177–182. doi:
Chen, J., Liu, T., Zheng, M., & Chen, C. (2010). Relationships between self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-concept, and depression.
Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 18, 799–801.
Christopher, M. S., & Gilbert, B. D. (2010). Incremental validity of components of mindfulness in the prediction of satisfaction with life and depression.
Current Psychology: A Journal for Diverse Perspectives on Diverse Psychological Issues, 29
, 10–23. doi:
Cooke, R., Bewick, B. M., Barkham, M., Bradley, M., & Audin, K. (2006). Measuring, monitoring and managing the psychological well-being of first year university students.
British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 34
, 505–517. doi:
de Bruin, E. I., Topper, M., Muskens, J. M., Bögels, S. M., & Kamphuis, J. H. (2012). Psychometric properties of the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) in a meditating and a non-meditating sample.
, 187–197. doi:
Endler, N. S., Speer, R. L., Johnson, J. M., & Flett, G. L. (2001). General self-efficacy and control in relation to anxiety and cognitive performance.
Current Psychology, 20
, 36–52. doi:
Fry, R. S., & Debats, D. L. (2002). Self-efficacy beliefs as predictors of loneliness and psychological distress in older adults.
The International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 55
, 233–269. doi:
Hendryx, M. S., Haviland, M. G., & Shaw, D. G. (1991). Dimensions of alexithymia and their relationships to anxiety and depression.
J Pers Assess, 56
(2), 227–237. doi:
Hinterman, C., Burns, L., Hopwood, D., & Rogers, W. (2012). Mindfulness: Seeking a more perfect approach to coping with life’s challenges.
, 275–281. doi:
Hollis-Walker, L., & Colosimo, K. (2011). Mindfulness, self-compassion, and happiness in non-meditators: A theoretical and empirical examination.
Personality and Individual Differences, 50
, 222–227. doi:
Howell, A. J., Digdon, N. L., Buro, K., & Sheptycki, A. R. (2008). Relations among mindfulness, well-being, and sleep.
Personality and Individual Differences, 45
, 773–777. doi:
Howell, A. J., Dopko, R. L., Passmore, H., & Buro, K. (2011). Nature connectedness: Associations with well-being and mindfulness.
Personality and Individual Differences, 51
, 166–171. doi:
Jimenez, S. S., Niles, B. L., & Park, C. L. (2010). A mindfulness model of affect regulation and depressive symptoms: Positive emotions, mood regulation expectancies, and self-acceptance as regulatory mechanisms.
Personality and Individual Differences, 49
, 645–650. doi:
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990).
Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. New York: Delacourt.
Lightsey, O. R., & Barnes, P. W. (2007). Discrimination, attributional tendencies, generalized self-efficacy, and assertiveness as predictors of psychological distress among African Americans.
Journal of Black Psychology, 33
, 27–50. doi:
Lovibond, P. F., & Lovibond, S. H. (1995). The structure of negative emotional states: Comparison of the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales (DASS) with the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories.
Behav Res Ther, 33
, 335–343. doi:
Masuda, A., & Tully, E. C. (2012). The role of mindfulness and psychological flexibility in somatization, depression, anxiety, and general psychological distress in a nonclinical college sample.
Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 17
, 66–71. doi:
Neely, M. E., Schallert, D. L., Mohammed, S. S., Roberts, R. M., & Chen, Y. J. (2009). Self-kindness when facing stress: The role of self-compassion, goal regulation, and support in college students’ well-being.
Motivation and Emotion, 33
, 88–97. doi:
Neff, K. D. (2003a). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself.
Self and Identity, 2
, 85–101. doi:
Neff, K. D. (2003b). The development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion.
Self and Identity, 2
, 223–250. doi:
Neff, K. D., Hsieh, Y., & Dejitterat, K. (2005). Self-compassion, achievement goals, and coping with academic failure.
Self and Identity, 4
, 263–287. doi:
Neff, K. D., Kirkpatrick, K. L., & Rude, S. S. (2007). Self-compassion and adaptive psychological functioning.
Journal of Research in Personality, 41
, 139–154. doi:
Ólafsson, R. F., & Jóhannsdóttir, H. L. (2004). Coping with bullying in the workplace: The effect of gender, age and type of bullying.
British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 32
, 319–333. doi:
Palmer, A., & Rodger, S. (2009). Mindfulness, stress, and coping among university students.
Canadian Journal of Counselling, 43, 198–212.
Quimby, J. L., & O’Brien, K. M. (2006). Predictors of well-being among nontraditional female students with children.
Journal of Counseling & Development, 84
, 451–460. doi:
Raes, F. (2011). The effects of self-compassion on the development of depression symptoms in a non-clinical sample.
, 33–36. doi:
Raes, F., Pommier, E., Neff, K., & Van Gucht, D. (2011). Construction and factorial validation of a short form of the self-compassion scale.
Clinical and Psychotherapy, 18
, 250–255. doi:
Roberts, K. C., & Danoff-Burg, S. (2010). Mindfulness and health behaviors: Is paying attention good for you?
J Am Coll Health, 59
, 165–173. doi:
Sherer, M., Maddus, J. E., Mercandante, B., Prentice-Dunn, S., Jacobs, B., & Rogers, R. (1982). The Self-efficacy Scale: Construct and validation.
Psychol Rep, 51
Stallman, H. M. (2010). Psychological distress in university students: A comparison with general population data.
Australian Psychologist, 45
, 249–257. doi:
Tennant, R., Hiller, L., Fishwick, R., Platt, S., Joseph, S., Weich, S., Parkinson, J., Secker, J., Stewart-Brown, S. (2007). The Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): Development and UK validation.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 5, 63.
Tong, Y., & Song, S. (2004). A study on general self-efficacy and subjective well-being of low SES college students in a Chinese university.
College Student Journal, 38, 637–642.
Van Dam, N. T., Sheppard, S. C., Forsyth, J. P., & Earleywine, M. (2011). Self-compassion is a better predictor than mindfulness of symptom severity and quality of life in mixed anxiety and depression.
J Anxiety Disord, 25
, 123–130. doi:
Wei, M., Liao, K., Ku, T., & Shaffer, P. A. (2011). Attachment, self-compassion, empathy, and subjective well-being among college students and community adults.
J Pers, 79
, 191–221. doi:
Woodhead, E. L., Cronkite, R., Moos, R., Valenstein, H., & Timko, C. (2013). Age-related concomitants of obtaining mental health care in adulthood.
Am J Health Behav, 37
, 269–276. doi:
Yu, P., Su, S., & Li, L. (2005). The relationships between college students’ attributional style, self-efficacy and subjective well-being.
Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 13, 42–44. Copyright information
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013