The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Mindfulness as Mediator of the Effects of Learned Helplessness and Self-Handicapping on Flourishing

Margarita Bakracheva, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski (Bulgaria)


Learned helplessness and self-handicapping are described as ineffective strategies in the course of self-regulation and in relation to flourishing and proactive mindfulness  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. The linear effects of learned helplessness and self-handicapping on flourishing, the direct predictors of flourishing, and the mediating role of mindfulness are studied among a convenient sample of 325 respondents. Results confirm that learned helplessness and self-handicapping are negatively related to flourishing, mindfulness and well-being and positively related to dysfunctional and automatic thinking, negative emotions and avoidance. Furthermore, learned helplessness, has partial mediating effect on the direct predictors of flourishing – optimism, mindfulness and achievements, but self-handicapping has no mediating role. Mindfulness and the coping strategy “search for emotional support” have full mediating effect on learned helplessness. Mindfulness has partial mediating effect on self-handicapping, whereas self-esteem has full mediating effect of self-handicapping and flourishing relation. These effects are considered pathways to learning how to flourish. In situations of insecurity and unpredictability, promotion of mindful mindset and proactive attitude facilitate flourishing. Flourishing on its turn underlies better performance of teachers and hence, positive atmosphere in the classroom and well-being of students. Thus, possible strategies for integration of mindfulness promotion in education are suggested.

Keywords: flourishing, mindfulness, self-handicapping, learned helplessness


[1] Alloy, L. B., Peterson, C., Abramson, L. Y., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1984). Attributional style and the generality of learned helplessness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46(3), 681-687.

[2] Arazzini-Stewart, M., De George-Walker, L. (2014). Self-handicapping, perfectionism, locus of control and self-efficacy: A path model. Personality and Individual Differences, 66,160-164.

[3] Butler, J. & Kern, M. L. (2016). The PERMA-Profiler: A brief multidimensional measure of flourishing. International Journal of Wellbeing, 6, 1–48.

[4] Hiroto, D. S., & Seligman, M. E. (1975). Generality of learned helplessness in man. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31(2), 311–327.

[5] Seligman, M. E. P. (1975). Helplessness: On depression, development, and death. San Francisco, CA: Freeman.

[6] Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness. New York, NY: Free Press.

[7] Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well–being. New York, NY: Free Press.


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