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Mindfulness is associated with lower stress and higher work engagement in a large sample of MOOC participants


Bartlett, L and Buscot, MJ and Bindoff, A and Chambers, R and Hassed, C, Mindfulness is associated with lower stress and higher work engagement in a large sample of MOOC participants, Frontiers in Psychology, 12 pp. 724126. ISSN 1664-1078 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 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 ( 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.

DOI: doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.724126


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mindfulness, meditation, stress, work engagement, online course
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Other psychology
Research Field:Other psychology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bartlett, L (Mrs Larissa Bartlett)
UTAS Author:Buscot, MJ (Dr Marie-Jeanne Buscot)
UTAS Author:Bindoff, A (Mr Aidan Bindoff)
ID Code:151342
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2022-07-27
Last Modified:2022-08-11

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