Mindfulness, cognitive functioning, and academic achievement in college students:the mediating role of stress

Emma E. McBride, Jeffrey M. Greeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Higher trait mindfulness may be associated with better cognitive functioning and academic achievement in college students. Although mediating mechanisms are unclear, lower stress levels could explain this relationship. Participants: Cross-sectional online survey (n = 534; 33% non-white; Apr 2018 – Sep 2019). Path analysis tested Perceived Stress as a mediator between specific facets of trait mindfulness and three measures of self-reported cognitive functioning and academic achievement: Cognitive Abilities, Cognitive Concerns, and GPA. Perceived Stress fully or partially mediated the relationship between all facets of trait mindfulness and perceived cognitive functioning. Only Decentering, however, was associated with higher GPA as a function of lower stress. Lower stress can explain the link between higher trait mindfulness and better cognitive functioning, but not necessarily academic achievement. Future research is needed to address causality, examine objective measures of cognitive functioning, and extend this explanatory model to mindfulness training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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