Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 1883–1902 | Cite as

Mindful and Resilient? Incremental Validity of Sense of Coherence Over Mindfulness and Big Five Personality Factors for Quality of Life Outcomes

  • Dennis GrevensteinEmail author
  • Corina Aguilar-Raab
  • Matthias Bluemke
Research Paper


Though conceptually distinct, mindfulness and sense of coherence (SOC) are empirically related aspects that promote health and wellbeing. The present research explored uniqueness by investigating criterion validity and incremental validity beyond the Big Five personality traits when predicting psychological distress, life satisfaction, and burnout. N = 1033 participated in a cross-sectional study. We used multiple regression analysis to examine the incremental validity of mindfulness (CHIME) and SOC (SOC-13) for psychological distress (SCL-K-9), life satisfaction (SWLS), and burnout (MBI-GS scales: emotional exhaustion, cynicism, personal accomplishment). Mindfulness and SOC had incremental validity over the Big Five traits. Despite a strong overlap (45% shared variance) between mindfulness and SOC, SOC was always the stronger predictor: psychological distress (β = −.52), life satisfaction (β = .57), emotional exhaustion (β = −.23), cynicism (β = −.40), and personal accomplishment (β = −.30). For psychological distress, life satisfaction, and cynicism, SOC statistically explained almost all the criterion validity of mindfulness. The clinical utility of mindfulness for predicting psychological health appears to be of minor importance relative to SOC, regardless whether meditators or non-meditators, who differed in mindfulness, were analyzed. Western approaches to assessing mindfulness may lack crucial social and existential dimensions.


Sense of coherence Mindfulness Big Five Psychological distress Life satisfaction Burnout 



Thanks go to Kirstin Giese and Sarah Barthelmann for help with the data collection and to Dirk Hagemann for valuable discussion.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standard

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. The study was approved by the ethics committee of the university hospital Heidelberg (S-114/2015).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis Grevenstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Corina Aguilar-Raab
    • 2
  • Matthias Bluemke
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Psychological InstituteUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Medical Psychology, Center for Psychosocial MedicineUniversity Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social SciencesMannheimGermany

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