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Dispositional Mindfulness and Serenity: Their Unique Relations with Stress and Mental Well-being

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Although the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and mental health among undergraduates is well studied, dispositional serenity is rarely studied, and they have not been examined together to identify their unique associations with stress and mental well-being (MWB). The present study investigated dispositional mindfulness in terms of the Five Facet Model and the additive statistical effects of two multidimensional conceptualizations of dispositional serenity, in relation to stress and MWB. This study used a cross-sectional design with N = 506 undergraduates. We suggested that dispositional serenity reflected a positive inner strength and peace that would complement dispositional mindfulness in promoting mental health. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that higher dispositional mindfulness significantly predicted both lower stress and higher MWB, consistent with the literature. Contributing to the literature, faith, humility, and gladness from the first serenity measure significantly predicted both lower stress and greater MWB, over and above the facets of dispositional mindfulness. Regarding the second serenity measure, inner haven and acceptance (but not trust) significantly predicted both lower stress and higher MWB, beyond the facets of dispositional mindfulness. Examined all together, gladness (serenity measure-I) significantly predicted lower stress, and both gladness (serenity measure-I) and acceptance (serenity measure-II) significantly predicted greater MWB, in addition to the facets of dispositional mindfulness. These findings broaden the conceptualization of unique, positive psychological dispositions in undergraduates. Future studies could examine state serenity induction as a positive psychological intervention to supplement dispositional serenity, just as state mindfulness induction is used to supplement dispositional mindfulness, in ameliorating stress and enhancing MWB.

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  1. Boyd-Wilson et al. (2004) reported a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) for a three-factor scale (where Chi Square = 5.97, df = 6, p = .43, CFI = 1.00, NFI = .98, and RMSEA = .00, N = 378), providing excellent support for the model. In the present study, Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) using unrotated Principle Component Analysis (PCA) yielded nine factors with eigenvalues 1.0 or greater, accounting for 59.48% of the variance. Likewise, Roberts and Aspy (1993) reported nine factors with eigenvalues 1.0 or greater, accounting for 58.20% of the variance. In the present study, an extraction of three factors using a promax rotation (the factors were correlated at > .20) accounted for 36.04% of the variance.

  2. In the present study, an EFA using an unrotated Principle Component Analysis (PCA) yielded three factors with eigenvalues 1.0 or greater, accounting for 50.43% of the variance, N = 506. Similarly, Kreitzer et al. (2009) accounted for 58.72% of the variance with three factors, N = 87.


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All authors contributed to the study conception and design, material preparation, and data collection. Data analyses were primarily performed by CKS. The first draft of the manuscript and revision was written by CKS, and all authors added to the manuscript that was submitted. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Champika K. Soysa.

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Soysa, C.K., Zhang, F., Parmley, M. et al. Dispositional Mindfulness and Serenity: Their Unique Relations with Stress and Mental Well-being. J Happiness Stud 22, 1517–1536 (2021).

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