Does trait mindfulness help working college students get more satisfaction? The mediating role of work meaning and work-to-school enrichment
Laurel A. McNall, Matthew Bennett, and Melissa M. Brown
Background/Aims/Objectives: Research is providing compelling evidence on the benefits of mindfulness, but more work is needed to understand how and why mindfulness results in positive outcomes. Drawing on Mindfulness-to-Meaning Theory (MMT), we explored the underlying mechanisms that may explain the relationship between mindfulness and satisfaction (job and school) for working college students, including work meaning and work to-school enrichment (WSE).
Method: Employed college students (who worked at least 8 hours per week) were recruited to participate in an online survey in exchange for credit.
Results: We found evidence for a serial multiple mediation model of work meaning and work-to-school enrichment in the relationship between mindfulness and school satisfaction. Yet, for job satisfaction, the simple mediation model involving mindfulness to work meaning was better than the serial model that included WSE.
Discussion: Taken together, these results lend initial support for mindfulness as a personal resource that helps working college students experience greater job satisfaction, particularly through higher work meaning, and greater school satisfaction, through both higher work meaning and WSE.
Conclusions: Practically speaking, this research suggests that mindful working college students may be better equipped to experience work meaning, and in turn, positive outcomes. As such, universities and organizations may want to consider not only offering mindfulness interventions, but also helping students find greater meaning in their employment experiences.
Keywords: mindfulness, work meaning, work-to-school enrichment, job satisfaction, school satisfaction