DOI: 10.1002/pon.6201 ISSN:

Stress appraisal and emotion regulation mediate the association between mindfulness and affect in cancer patients: Differential mechanisms for positive and negative affect

Puttichai Tungtong, Adelita V. Ranchor, Maya J. Schroevers
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Oncology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology



Cancer patients are at an increased risk for affective problems, including feelings of anxiety and depression. Mindfulness has been linked to an array of benefits for affective functioning in various populations including cancer patients, but the mechanisms underlying this relationship are still poorly understood. Based on emotion‐regulation and stress‐coping models, this study examined the potential mediating role of stress appraisal and coping strategies in the associations between mindfulness and cancer patients' positive and negative affect.


For this cross‐sectional study, 245 cancer patients completed self‐report questionnaires measuring mindfulness (FFMQ), positive and negative affect (PANAS), stress appraisal (SPSI‐R:S), coping through positive reappraisal and positive refocusing (CERQ), rumination (RRQ), and distraction (COPE). Serial mediation analyses were conducted using the regression‐based bootstrapping method.


Higher levels of mindfulness were associated with higher levels of positive affect; this relationship was mediated via stress appraisal and positive reappraisal. We also found an indirect effect from mindfulness directly via positive reappraisal to positive affect. In addition, higher levels of mindfulness were negatively associated with negative affect; this relationship was mediated via stress appraisal and rumination, with also an indirect effect from mindfulness directly via stress appraisal to negative affect.


Results suggest that stress appraisal and distinct coping strategies mediate the relationship between mindfulness and affect. Mindfulness may provide benefits for cancer patients' affect by allowing adaptive stress appraisal and ways of coping through more positive and less negative thinking.

More from our Archive