Mindfulness is associated with lower stress and higher work engagement in a large sample of MOOC participants
Objective: This study aimed to understand the associations between mindfulness, perceived stress, and work engagement in a very large sample of English-speaking adults, from 130 different countries. It also aimed to assess participants' self-reported changes following a 6-week mindfulness massive open online course (MOOC).
Methods: Participants in the 6-week MOOC were invited to complete pre-post online surveys. Cross-sectional associations were assessed using univariate linear models, followed by structural equation models to test mediation pathways in baseline data (N = 16,697). Self-reported changes in mindfulness, stress and engagement following training were assessed using paired t-tests (n = 2,105).
Results: Each standard deviation unit increase in mindfulness was associated with a 0.52 standard deviation unit decrease in perceived stress, and with 0.06 standard deviation unit increment in work engagement. 73% of the influence of mindfulness on engagement was direct. Following the mindfulness MOOC, participants reported higher mindfulness (d = 1.16), reduced perceived stress (d = 1.00) and a small improvement in work engagement (d = 0.29).
Conclusions: Mindfulness was associated with lower perceived stress and higher work engagement in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. These findings support mindfulness as a potentially protective and modifiable personal resource. The MOOC format offers a low cost, highly accessible means for extending the reach and potential benefits of mindfulness training to large numbers of people.
Publication titleFrontiers in Psychology
Department/SchoolWicking Dementia Research Education Centre
PublisherFrontiers Research Foundation
Place of publicationSwitzerland
Rights statementCopyright © 2021 Bartlett, Buscot, Bindoff, Chambers and Hassed. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.