Does dispositional mindfulness mediate the relationship between anxiety and exam performance?

  1. López-Navarro, Emilio 1
  2. Giorgetti, Daniela 2
  3. Errasti, José 3
  4. Susana Al-Halabí 3
  1. 1 Universidad Internacional de La Rioja
    info

    Universidad Internacional de La Rioja

    Logroño, España

    ROR https://ror.org/029gnnp81

  2. 2 EvoCog University of the Balearic Islands,
  3. 3 University of Oviedo.
Journal:
Revista de investigación en educación

ISSN: 1697-5200 2172-3427

Year of publication: 2020

Volume: 18

Issue: 3

Pages: 324-331

Type: Article

DOI: 10.35869/REINED.V18I3.3271 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openDialnet editor

More publications in: Revista de investigación en educación

Abstract

Anxiety affects students’ performance in exams. Dispositional mindfulness (DM), the ability to be aware of one’s own feelings and thoughts while not react to them, is associated with better cognitive performance under anxiety conditions. However, none study has addressed if DM mediates between anxiety and students’ performance in test taking. The aim was to study DM as a mediator of the effect of anxiety over exam performance in a college sample. 240 students driven from the same course and subject participated. Data was gathered before exam started. Measures entailed a sociodemographic questionnaire; the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI); the Five-Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ); and final marks from the exam. Mediational analyses were performed for each STAI dimension, setting each FFMQ factor as mediator, and marks from the final exam as outcome. Twenty-nine participants were excluded due to prior experience in meditation. Direct effect model showed that final exam score was significantly predicted by STAI-State (R2=,145, p<,001, b=-,536, 95% CI [-,719, -353]). A significant indirect effect was detected (t=-3,937, p<,001) for STAI-State through FFMQ-Non-Reactivity (b=-,06, 95% CI [-,095, -,032]). Data suggest that anxiety negatively affects performance in final exams, but this effect is ameliorated by DM.

Bibliographic References

  • Baer, R.A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 125-143. https://doi.org/10.1093/clipsy/bpg015
  • Buela-Casal, G., Guillén-Riquelme, A. & Seisdedos, N. (2011). Cuestionario de ansiedad estado-rasgo (8th ed.). TEA Ediciones.
  • Cebolla, A., García-Palacios, A., Soler, J., Guillen, V., Baños, R. & Botella, C. (2012). Psychometric properties of the Spanish validation of the Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). The European Journal of Psychiatry, 26(2), 118-126. https://doi.org/10.4321/S0213-61632012000200005
  • Chiang, E.P. & Sumell, A. J. (2019). Are your students absent, not absent, or present? Mindfulness and student performance. The Journal of Economic Education, 50(1), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220485.2018.1551096
  • Chipman, S.E.F. (Ed.). (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Science (Vol. 1). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199842193.001.0001
  • Cho, H., Ryu, S., Noh, J. & Lee, J. (2016). The Effectiveness of Daily Mindful Breathing Practices on Test Anxiety of Students. PLOS ONE, 11(10), e0164822. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0164822
  • Eysenck, M.W. & Calvo, M.G. (1992). Anxiety and Performance: The Processing Efficiency Theory. Cognition & Emotion, 6(6), 409-434. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699939208409696
  • Gallant, S.N. (2016). Mindfulness meditation practice and executive functioning: Breaking down the benefit. Consciousness and Cognition, 40, 116-130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2016.01.005
  • Guillén, A. & Buela-Casal, G. (2015). Estructura factorial del Cuestionario de Ansiedad Estado-Riesgo (STAI) para pacientes diagnosticados con depresión. Salud Mental, 38(4), 293-298. https://doi.org/10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2015.040
  • Hayes, A.F. & Rockwood, N.J. (2020). Conditional Process Analysis: Concepts, Computation, and Advances in the Modeling of the Contingencies of Mechanisms. American Behavioral Scientist, 64(1), 19-54. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764219859633
  • Hooda, M. & Saini, A. (2017). Academic Anxiety: An Overview. International Journal of Education and Applied Social Science, 8(3), 807-810.https://doi.org/10.5958/2230-7311.2017.00139.8
  • Huang, F.-Y., Hsu, A.-L., Hsu, L.-M., Tsai, J.-S., Huang, C.-M., Chao, Y.-P., Hwang, T.-J. & Wu, C.W. (2019). Mindfulness Improves Emotion Regulation and Executive Control on Bereaved Individuals: An fMRI Study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00541
  • Jaiswal, S., Tsai, S.-Y., Juan, C.-H., Liang, W.-K. & Muggleton, N. G. (2018). Better Cognitive Performance Is Associated With the Combination of High Trait Mindfulness and Low Trait Anxiety. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00627
  • Kingery, J.N., Bodenlos, J.S. & Lathrop, J.A. (2020). Facets of dispositional mindfulness versus sources of social support predicting college students’ psychological adjustment. Journal of American College Health, 68(4), 403-410. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2019.1574801
  • MacDonald, H.Z. & Baxter, E.E. (2017). Mediators of the Relationship Between Dispositional Mindfulness and Psychological Well-Being in Female College Students. Mindfulness, 8(2), 398-407. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-016-0611-z
  • Noone, C., Bunting, B. & Hogan, M.J. (2016). Does Mindfulness Enhance Critical Thinking? Evidence for the Mediating Effects of Executive Functioning in the Relationship between Mindfulness and Critical Thinking. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.02043
  • Noone, C. & Hogan, M.J. (2018). Improvements in Critical Thinking Performance Following Mindfulness Meditation Depend on Thinking Dispositions. Mindfulness, 9(2), 461-473. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0789-8
  • Rana, R. & Mahmood, N. (2010). The Relationship between Test Anxiety and AcademicAchievement. Bulletin of Education and Research, 32(2), 63-74.
  • Sherwood, A., Carydias, E., Whelan, C. & Emerson, D.L.-M. (2020). The explanatory role of facets of dispositional mindfulness and negative beliefs about worry in anxiety symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 160, 109933. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.109933 Shi, Z., Gao, X. & Zhou, R. (2014). Emotional working memory capacity in test anxiety. Learning and Individual Differences, 32, 178-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2014.03.011
  • Sørensen, L., Osnes, B., Visted, E., Svendsen, J.L., Adolfsdottir, S., Binder, P.E. & Schanche, E. (2018). Dispositional mindfulness and attentional control: The specific association between the mindfulness facets of non-judgment and describing with flexibility of early operating orienting in conflict detection. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02359
  • Takahashi, T., Kawashima, I., Nitta, Y. & Kumano, H. (2020). Dispositional Mindfulness Mediates the Relationship Between Sensory-Processing Sensitivity and Trait Anxiety, Well-Being, and Psychosomatic Symptoms. Psychological Reports, 123(4), 1.083-1.098. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294119841848
  • Tomlinson, E.R., Yousaf, O., Vittersø, A.D. & Jones, L. (2018). Dispositional Mindfulness and Psychological Health: a Systematic Review. Mindfulness, 9(1), 23-43. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0762-6van
  • Dijk, I., Lucassen, P.L.B.J., van Weel, C. & Speckens, A.E.M. (2017). A cross-sectional examination of psychological distress, positive mental health and their predictors in medical students in their clinical clerkships. BMC Medical Education, 17(1), 219. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-017-1035-8
  • Yu, S., Zhang, C., Zhou, Y., Shi, Y. & Xu, W. (2020). Longitudinal relationship between inferiority and maladjustment among college students: The mediation of dispositional mindfulness and moderation of left-behind experience. Children and Youth Services Review, 116, 105249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105249