Mindfulness and burnout among Chinese civil pilots: Mediation through fatigue and proactive coping

Main Article Content

Yaning Guo
Ming Ji
Zhiwei Yang
Hui Wang
Xuqun You
Cite this article:  Guo, Y., Ji, M., Yang, Z., Wang, H., & You, X. (2022). Mindfulness and burnout among Chinese civil pilots: Mediation through fatigue and proactive coping. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(3), e11146.


Abstract
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We explored the possibility of a relationship between mindfulness and burnout among Chinese civil pilots, and investigated the mediating effects of fatigue and proactive coping in this relationship. Participants were 319 civil pilots employed by China Southern Airlines, who completed a survey. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized parallel mediation model. Results show that the direct effect of mindfulness on burnout was not significant, but mindfulness had an important preventative effect on burnout. Furthermore, fatigue and proactive coping completely mediated the effect of mindfulness on burnout. Consequently, our findings corroborate the predictive role of fatigue and proactive coping in mediating the indirect effect that mindfulness exerted on burnout. Theoretical implications and practical recommendations for pilots’ mindfulness training practice and fatigue risk management systems are discussed.

Along with the improvement of aircraft technology and automation systems, a series of human errors have occurred that have caused approximately 80% of commercial airline accidents and incidents (Harris et al., 2001), such as Asiana Flight 214, the German Typhoon and Learjet collision, and Air France Flight 447. Human factors, such as mental health, may play an important role in aviation safety (Kelly & Efthymiou, 2019). Among mental health factors, burnout is described as a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a sense of lack of personal accomplishment (Maslach et al., 1996). It is well established that burnout can be a major contributing factor to ineffective job performance, job dissatisfaction, and turnover intention (Ceyhun & Ozbag, 2014; Fanjoy et al., 2010; Mengenci et al., 2014). Hence, it can be reasonably argued that burnout may have an adverse influence on occupational health and flight safety in aviation.

In extant studies on pilot burnout, mindfulness has not been a focus. Mindfulness is broadly conceptualized as the process of being aware of what is taking place in the present, in a nonevaluative, accepting way (Brown & Ryan, 2003). It is conceptualized as both a personality trait and a skill that can be cultivated through purposive training and meditation. Research showing decreased burnout after mindfulness training is in accordance with the strong evidence reported in meta-analytic studies (dos Santos et al., 2016; Luken & Sammons, 2016). Furthermore, mindfulness may serve as a resilience-promoting factor to enhance positive mental health factors, such as hope, optimism, wellness, life satisfaction, and self-esteem, and may also mitigate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and burnout (Brown & Ryan, 2003; dos Santos et al., 2016; Martínez-Rubio et al., 2021; Schultz et al., 2015; Sears & Kraus, 2009; Westphal et al., 2015).

In addition, mindfulness has been found to moderate the negative effects of work-related stress on depression, anxiety, and burnout (Taylor & Millear, 2016; Westphal et al., 2015), and to be the main protective factor against burnout among healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 crisis (Ruiz-Fernández et al., 2021). The protective effect of mindfulness training on anxiety has been shown in a high-performance combat aviation population (Meland et al., 2015). It is reasonable to infer that mindfulness would be a protective factor that reduces the risk of civil pilots’ burnout.

As described above, there is increasing evidence that in the workplace, the state of mindfulness as well as mindfulness training contribute to reducing the risk of burnout in employees. In the aviation domain, mindfulness influences not only the task performance of pilots (Lang et al., 2018), but also their risk of burnout (Li et al., 2020). Mindfulness-based training may reduce performance-related anxiety in military aviation (Meland et al., 2021). Research has demonstrated that among athletes, the effects of mindfulness on burnout were mediated by several factors (Zhang et al., 2021). However, research to examine the mediators of the effect of mindfulness on burnout among pilots is in its infancy. Thus, we aimed to illuminate the robust impact of mindfulness on pilot burnout, by investigating the potential mechanism that may underlie the relationship.

Mindfulness, Proactive Coping, and Burnout

Proactive coping, which is defined as a purposeful coping strategy to deal with potential threats oriented toward future expectations and challenges (Greenglass et al., 1999), can minimize the potential severity of accidental events before they occur. Research has demonstrated that proactive coping is positively associated with optimism and negatively related to depression (Gan et al., 2007). Furthermore, proactive coping has been found to mediate the association between mindfulness and life satisfaction (Hinterman et al., 2012). As already outlined, mindfulness, which enhances positive mental health factors, such as optimism, may help individuals build up resources to select strategies for coping with future stressful events.

Proactive coping is a factor that has the potential to play a significant role in alleviating risk of burnout (Bermejo-Toro et al., 2016; Chang & Chan, 2015; Väisänen et al., 2018). Those with high proactive coping tend to experience burnout symptoms less frequently than others do. This is probably because it has been found that proactive coping mediates the relationship between job demands and burnout (Ângelo & Chambel, 2014; Bermejo-Toro et al., 2016). Meta-analysis results have demonstrated that trait mindfulness is not only negatively correlated with burnout, but also serves as a mitigation tool to deal with job burnout (Eddy et al., 2018; Luken & Sammons, 2016; Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2017). Moreover, regular practice of mindfulness meditation and use of coping strategies affect levels of burnout (Charoensukmongkol, 2013). In particular, the proactive coping of civil pilots has been found to weaken the direct effect of anticipated negative emotions on accident involvement (Wang et al., 2019). Knowledge and the use of antiburnout coping strategies is recognized as helpful and motivating for flight crews (Brezonakova, 2017). It can be inferred from this that proactive coping produces a protective effect from burnout.

A similar protective role of proactive coping has been reported in moderating the relationships between stressors and burnout, and between stressors and engagement (Searle & Lee, 2015). In addition, findings about the effects of proactive coping on burnout are consistent with the statement that proactive coping ought to be a particularly effective strategy for managing job demands. Chang and Chan (2015) found that a stress management intervention among nurses provided considerable evidence that proactive coping mediates the association between optimism and burnout to promote mental health. Furthermore, it has been found that proactive coping mediates the association between emotion appraisal and burnout, whereby those with higher emotional intelligence tend to be more proactive in coping than are those lower in emotional intelligence, and then experience symptoms of burnout less frequently (Nizielski et al., 2013). As a consequence, it is reasonable to argue that proactive coping has an impact on enhancing individuals’ coping skills, thus having a protective role for prevention of burnout.

Mindfulness, Fatigue, and Burnout

Fatigue is a risk factor in the performance and safety of civil aviation (Kanderaa et al., 2019), and in both military and civil aviation accounts for nearly 21% of human error in aviation accidents and incidents (Harris et al., 2001), such as the 1998 Little Rock accident. Pilot fatigue may be caused by performing multiple cognitive tasks for extended periods or being under a high workload, along with prolonged work hours and undergoing natural body-rhythm disturbances (Goffeng et al., 2019).

The link between mindfulness and fatigue has consistently been documented in the clinical domain (Navarrete et al., 2021; Pagnini et al., 2019; Whitaker et al., 2019). Moreover, enhancement of mindfulness following training has been found to lead to less fatigue (van der Meulen et al., 2021). Research indicates that mindfulness is positively associated with less fatigue in people being treated for inflammatory bowel disease, indicating that mindful awareness served as a protective factor (Navarrete et al., 2021). Westphal et al., (2015) showed that taking part in a brief mindfulness-based intervention reduced psychological distress among emergency room personnel, and proved to be effective in enhancing their mindfulness, and decreasing anxiety, depression, and fatigue. In the context of clinical application, it has also been reported that mindfulness-based stress reduction is associated with significant improvements in self-reported symptoms of fatigue in the workplace (Gregoire & Lachance, 2015). Consequently, mindfulness is a significant protector for effective prevention of subjective fatigue.

Fatigue is a possible consequence of high job demands, which can result in symptoms of burnout (Basińska et al., 2014). Pilot burnout occurs when fatigue issues are aggravated and work demands exceed obtainable resources (Brezonakova, 2017). Researchers have also assessed the impact of fatigue on burnout in palliative care clinicians, and it was found that fatigue was associated with a higher likelihood of overall burnout (Marchalik et al., 2018). Basińska et al. (2014) reported that police officers’ job-related emotions mediated the relationship between their fatigue and burnout, in that low fatigue may be associated with reduced burnout subsequently. Hence, it is reasonable to suppose that burnout might be a consequence of pilots’ fatigue.

Burnout and fatigue are highly prevalent in demanding and high-stress environments, especially for those in safety-related occupations like civil pilots. Specifically, reduced fatigue and burnout have been reported after mindfulness practice, indicating that mindfulness has a protective impact for preventing fatigue and burnout (Gregoire & Lachance, 2015). Little is yet known about the mediation effect of mindfulness on burnout through fatigue. It could be speculated that mindfulness predicts the risk of burnout through fatigue.

Extensive research has been conducted to examine the indirect effect of mindfulness on burnout, but few have examined fatigue and proactive coping as mediators of the link between mindfulness and burnout. Considering the potential risk of pilots’ burnout for aircraft flight safety, it is important to ascertain the crucial role of mindfulness on pilot burnout and make recommendations for prevention and intervention, and to confirm the possible mediating roles of fatigue and proactive coping in the preventative effect of mindfulness on burnout. Figure 1 depicts the hypothesized parallel mediation model.

Table/Figure

Figure 1. Parallel Mediation Model for the Association of Mindfulness and Burnout of Civil Pilots

Method

Participants

We recruited 319 civil pilots employed by the China Southern Airlines to provide information for our study voluntarily and anonymously in a paper-and-pencil survey. The pilots ranged in age from 24 to 49 years (M = 31.31, SD = 6.24), and their flight experience ranged from 860 to 48,000 hours (M = 14,794, SD = 9,573). Informed consent was obtained from all participants, and the study was approved by the appropriate ethics review board of Shaanxi Normal University.

Measures

Mindful Attention Awareness
We assessed mindfulness with a Chinese translated version (Deng et al., 2012) of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (Brown & Ryan, 2003), which is a 15-item self-report scale designed to assess the degree to which one is attentive to the present moment in one’s daily experience. Items are rated on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (almost always) to 6 (almost never). A sample item is “I find it difficult to stay focused on what’s happening in the present.” The scale has already been validated in the Chinese language and shown to have acceptable reliability (Deng et al., 2012). Cronbach’s alpha was .97 in this study.

Proactive Coping
Participants completed the eight-item proactive coping subscale of the Proactive Coping Inventory (Greenglass et al., 1999). This scale has been validated and widely used in Chinese contexts (Gan et al., 2007). A sample item is “After attaining a goal, I look for another, more challenging one.” Items are rated on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not at all true) to 6 (completely true). In this study Cronbach’s alpha was .95.

Mental Fatigue
The mental fatigue subscale from the Fatigue Scale (Chalder et al., 1993) was used to measure the degree of fatigue. The subscale comprises six items with response options of 0 (no) and 1 (yes). Questions pertaining to self-reported fatigue are used to evaluate the presence and severity of mental fatigue. A sample item is “Do you have difficulty concentrating?” The highest score for fatigue is 6, with a higher score indicating more serious mental fatigue. Cronbach’s alpha was .64 in this study.

Burnout
The Maslach Burnout Inventory (Maslach et al., 1996) comprises three subscales: emotional exhaustion (five items), depersonalization (four items), and low personal accomplishment (six items). The inventory has shown high validity and reliability in the Chinese context (Wu et al., 2012). In line with developments in burnout research, we measured burnout with the subscales of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (Bianchi et al., 2014). These subscales include items such as “I feel fatigued when I have to get up in the morning to face another day on the job (emotional exhaustion) and “I doubt the significance of my work” (depersonalization). The items are rated on a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from 0 (never) to 6 (every day), according to how often the condition in the statement is experienced. Hence, high scores in the two subscales denote a higher degree of burnout. Cronbach’s alphas in this study were .96 for the entire scale, .94 for emotional exhaustion, and .93 for depersonalization.

Data Analysis

Descriptive analyses were performed and Pearson correlations among study variables were calculated with SPSS 22.0. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model with Mplus 8.3, in which the maximum likelihood estimation method was employed. A common method variance test was performed and the measurement model was validated prior to examining path analyses. In the structural equation model, model fit was evaluated using the goodness-of-fit index (GFI), normed fit index (NFI), Tucker–Lewis index (TLI), comparative fit index (CFI), root mean square residual (RMR), and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), in which GFI, NFI, TLI, and CFI greater than .95 and SRMR and RMSEA less than .08 indicate a good model fit. Chi square/degrees of freedom (χ2/df) was used to assess model fit for the reason that the statistic is sensitive to sample size, with a ratio of less than 3 indicating an acceptable model fit (Kline, 2005).

Results

Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive statistics and a comparison among observed variables by group are displayed in Table 1. Items on burnout were coded both as a continuous variable for path analysis and as a categorical variable for descriptive statistics. According to the cutoff suggested by Maslach et al. (1996), for high, moderate, and low levels of burnout, respondents assessed as suffering from burnout were those with a score higher than the 75th percentile for emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. The cutoff point we set was 3 for emotional exhaustion and 2.75 for depersonalization, with 25.39% (n = 81) of the pilots high in emotional exhaustion and 27.90% (n = 89) of the pilots high in depersonalization. Hence, 30.72% (n = 98) of pilots met the defined burnout criteria. In addition, 32.29% (n = 103) of the pilots reported having three or more of the symptoms of fatigue.

There were significant differences in relationship status for burnout, whereas no specific demographics predicted fatigue. More specifically, married pilots (M = 1.20, SD = 1.29) reported higher levels of burnout than did single pilots (M = 1.61, SD = 1.32), t = −2.65, p < .01. As expected, age was positively associated with flight experience, r = .32, p < .001.

Table 1. Demographic Characteristics of Pilots

Table/Figure

Note. ** p < .01.

Means, standard deviations, and Pearson correlations are shown in Table 2. All focal variables were significantly correlated. Mindfulness was negatively associated with fatigue and burnout, but positively related to proactive coping. As hypothesized, burnout was positively correlated with fatigue, whereas it was negatively related to proactive coping. Fatigue was negatively associated with proactive coping. In brief, high levels of mindfulness and proactive coping may be associated with low levels of fatigue and burnout among civil pilots.

Table 2. Descriptive Statistics and Correlations Between Mindfulness, Fatigue, Proactive Coping, and Burnout

Table/Figure

Note. *** p < .001 (two-tailed).

Measurement Model

Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to assess the fit of our theorized four-factor model. Reliabilities, validity, and correlations are provided in Table 3. Bootstrapped confidence intervals that do not contain zero signify that an effect is statistically significant. Subsequent interpretation was made using this criterion. Specifically, the reliabilities reported on the diagonal show strong internal consistency across all measures. The patterns of correlations are consistent with both theory and previous research. The correlation results of variables are as predicted. Results indicate that each latent construct produced a good fit to the data. Factor loadings for each latent construct also indicate that the items loaded well onto their respective constructs.

Table 3. Reliability and Convergent and Discriminant Validity of the Latent Variables

Table/Figure

Note. Numbers in boldface on the diagonal are the square root of average variance extracted (AVE); numbers below the diagonal are Pearson correlation coefficients.
*** p < .001 (two-tailed).

The measurement model comprised four latent constructs. All loadings of items on their constructs were statistically significant at p < .001 and over .43. This supports the claim that fatigue and proactive coping mediated the effect of mindfulness on burnout. The overall fit of the measurement model was good, and these indices were acceptable, χ2 = 941.33, df = 659, χ2/df = 1.43, TLI = .94, CFI = .94, SRMR = .04, RMSEA = .04. Given the acceptable results in the measurement model, the path model was tested to examine the associations among the latent variables.

We checked for common method variance because all data were based on self-reports. Harman’s single-factor test was carried out to assess the quality of the measurement model. We added one factor that loaded on all indicators on the basis of the measurement model, to test for a single factor explaining all variations. The model did not converge. Then we tested an alternative model that allowed all indicators to load on a single factor rather than being loaded on the four latent factors. Results show that compared to the four-factor model, the single-factor model had a significantly worse fit to the data, χ2 = 1996.58, df = 665, χ2/df = 3.00, TLI = .72, CFI = .73, SRMR = .07, RMSEA = .08. Results were similar for models of two and three latent factors. These results suggest that the observed relationships among the focal variables cannot be solely attributed to common method variance.

Structural Equation Modeling

To examine parallel mediation effects simultaneously, the direct, indirect, and total effects, including bias-corrected bootstrapped confidence intervals (CIs) for mediation effects, were assessed using structural equation modeling. The model had a good fit to the data, χ2 = 940.50, df = 660, χ2/df = 1.43, TLI = .94, CFI = .94, SRMR = .04, RMSEA = .04. Table 4 shows the parameter estimates of the direct and indirect effect between mindfulness and burnout.

Bootstrapped indirect effects and 95% CIs for the parallel mediation model were calculated to examine the mediating effect of fatigue and proactive coping. The indirect effect of mindfulness on burnout as mediated by fatigue was significant, and the indirect effect of mindfulness and burnout mediated by proactive coping was also significant. The direct effect of mindfulness on burnout was not significant. Bootstrapping analysis results indicate that mindfulness had an indirect effect on burnout, in which fatigue and proactive coping fully mediated the effect of mindfulness on burnout.

Table 4. Direct and Indirect Effects Between Mindfulness and Burnout

Table/Figure

Note. Bootstrapped resamples = 1,000; CI = confidence interval; LL = lower limit; UL = upper limit.

Discussion

Theoretical Implications

Fanjoy et al. (2010) reported that 32.6% of regional airline pilots they surveyed in the United States were high burnout candidates, and between 14% and 33% of the U.S. Air Force drone operators suffered from high levels of exhaustion (Chappelle et al., 2014). Consistent with Fanjoy et al., we found a moderate level of burnout among Chinese civil pilots. Further, the incidence of burnout was higher among married pilots compared to those who were not married. Burnout, which is regarded as a risk factor of occupational health, is a major determinant of job dissatisfaction and turnover intention among pilots (Ceyhun & Ozbag, 2014; Fanjoy et al., 2010). To ensure flight safety and the economic effectiveness of the airline, it is important for researchers to ascertain the risk of and protective factors against burnout among pilots.

Consistent with previous findings suggesting that mindfulness acts as a buffer against burnout (Li et al., 2020; Martínez-Rubio et al., 2021), we found a protective effect of mindfulness on burnout among civil pilots. We also corroborated prior findings that mindfulness training moderates the adverse effects of job-related stress on burnout (dos Santos et al., 2016; Luken & Sammons, 2016).

As we had predicted, proactive coping, which is an active, future-oriented approach to coping with stressors, was significantly associated with burnout. This style of coping facilitated the adaptive regulation strategies of potential threats or challenges in helping the individual to show low susceptibility to burnout. Similar to previous research showing that coping strategies mediate the positive effects of mindfulness on burnout (Charoensukmongkol, 2013), this study addressed the mediating role of proactive coping in the association between mindfulness and burnout. The robust relationship of higher levels of proactive coping with lower levels of burnout is mainly attributable to the fact that proactive coping strategies facilitate positive outcomes and resistance to the risk of burnout symptoms (Searle & Lee, 2015). Our work has extended previous research to ascertain the important role of mindfulness and proactive coping in protecting against burnout among pilots.

Because of the nature of airline transportation, pilots may be more prone than are those employed in other occupations to suffer from sleep deprivation, fatigue, and burnout. Research regarding mindfulness-based interventions has demonstrated the availability and efficacy of mindfulness training in reducing symptoms of fatigue and burnout (Luken & Sammons, 2016; Westphal et al., 2015). Furthermore, we confirmed that fatigue negatively mediated the effect of mindfulness on burnout. In view of the great significance of pilot fatigue and burnout on flight performance, our findings contribute to the argument that mindfulness training is crucial for pilots to protect against fatigue and burnout. Thus, our findings highlight the value of mindfulness, and potential benefits of mindfulness in diminishing pilot fatigue and subsequent burnout.

Practical Implications

In consideration of the fact that training an excellent civil pilot is usually complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, it is extremely important to select the most suitable candidates and train them well to meet the requirements of safe flight operation. The nature of the profession and the close attention to safety may bring about a high level of occupational pressure, and pilots may be psychologically distressed when they are facing extreme pressure, inefficiency, low organizational commitment, and risk of flight accidents.

Mindfulness is frequently applied in practice. As already described, mindfulness interventions enhance proactive coping and reduce fatigue, making employees less likely to experience burnout. Thus, our findings might have implications for burnout prevention. When considering stress management training for pilots in practice, the significant roles of proactive coping to modulate the effect of mindfulness on burnout should be considered when developing a stress management training program.

This study may shed light on how to conduct fatigue and burnout prevention research in a more targeted way. Our findings extend those of previous research to suggest that mindfulness would help to increase pilots’ resistance to fatigue and burnout. Mindfulness not only reduces fatigue but also elevates proactive coping, thus making employees less likely to experience burnout. We found that mindfulness indirectly affected burnout through fatigue and proactive coping, without having a direct effect on burnout. These findings may have particular applied implications as training to improve the level of mindfulness has been shown to have stress-reducing effects in aviators (Meland et al., 2015). Our research makes a thorough inquiry of the mechanism of how mindfulness works in fatigue and burnout reduction, which has implications for pilot burnout prevention and fatigue risk management systems.

Limitations and Directions for Future Research

The present study has several limitations. First, correlation coefficients among the study variables were extremely high. This research may be criticized because of overlap between fatigue and burnout. Second, self-report measures have the potential for multicollinearity issues and observational error. Especially, fatigue has clearly been demonstrated to have a number of cognitive effects that may influence performance and lead to accidents. The focus in further research with respect to pilot fatigue should be around fatigue and sleepiness, which is typically measured using the Samn-Perelli Crew Status Check (Caldwell & Lynn Caldwell, 2004) and the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (van den Berg et al., 2016). Furthermore, due to the various limitations, such as inferences made from 319 civil pilot samples from China Southern Airlines extended to Chinese civil pilots, and cross-sectional design, caution is needed with regard to generalizability of the findings. In addition, fatigue has a number of cognitive effects that may influence performance and lead to accidents. Further data are needed to draw inferences concerning the relationship of fatigue with aviation accidents. More objective measures or instruments should be used or developed to better assess the negative factors that are particularly associated with accident proneness, self-perceived poor performance, and unhealthy mental conditions among pilots. Additionally, longitudinal studies should be conducted because, compared with cross-sectional correlations, evidence on causal relationships can be better explored and ascertained. More important, practical research should be performed to investigate causality among positive psychological factors, mental health, job performance, and safety behaviors in the aviation domain.

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Navarrete, J., González-Moret, R., Cortés, X., Lisón, J. F., Soria, J. M., Baños, R. M., & Cebolla, A. (2021). Dispositional mindfulness and inflammatory bowel disease: Mindful awareness mediates the relation between severity and quality of life, stress, and fatigue. Mindfulness, 12, 1524–1533.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01620-w

Nizielski, S., Hallum, S., Schutz, A., & Lopes, P. N. (2013). A note on emotion appraisal and burnout: The mediating role of antecedent-focused coping strategies. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(3), 363–369.
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https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.22158

Schultz, P. P., Ryan, R. M., Niemiec, C. P., Legate, N., & Williams, G. C. (2015). Mindfulness, work climate, and psychological need satisfaction in employee well-being. Mindfulness, 6, 971–985.
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https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.14870

Maslach, C., Jackson, S. E., & Leiter, M. P. (1996). Maslach Burnout Inventory—Manual (3rd ed). Consulting Psychologists Press.

Meland, A., Fonne, V., Wagstaff, A., & Pensgaard, A. M. (2015). Mindfulness-based mental training in a high-performance combat aviation population: A one-year intervention study and two-year follow-up. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 25(1), 48–61.
https://doi.org/10.1080/10508414.2015.995572

Meland, A., Hoebeke, E., Pensgaard, A. M., Fonne, V., Wagstaff, A., & Jensen, C. G. (2021). A sense of fellowship: Mindfulness improves experienced interpersonal benefits and prosociality in a military aviation unit. The International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 31(2), 162–179.
https://doi.org/10.1080/24721840.2020.1865818

Mengenci, C. (2014). Could burnout be a reason behind airlines accident?: An empirical research study in Turkish Airlines Companies. European Journal of Business and Management, 6(30), 52–62. https://bit.ly/3rpSiDQ

Mesmer-Magnus, J., Manapragada, A., Viswesvaran, C., & Allen, J. W. (2017). Trait mindfulness at work: A meta-analysis of the personal and professional correlates of trait mindfulness. Human Performance, 30(2–3), 79–98.
https://doi.org/10.1080/08959285.2017.1307842

Navarrete, J., González-Moret, R., Cortés, X., Lisón, J. F., Soria, J. M., Baños, R. M., & Cebolla, A. (2021). Dispositional mindfulness and inflammatory bowel disease: Mindful awareness mediates the relation between severity and quality of life, stress, and fatigue. Mindfulness, 12, 1524–1533.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01620-w

Nizielski, S., Hallum, S., Schutz, A., & Lopes, P. N. (2013). A note on emotion appraisal and burnout: The mediating role of antecedent-focused coping strategies. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(3), 363–369.
https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033043

Pagnini, F., Cavalera, C., Rovaris, M., Mendozzi, L., Molinari, E., Phillips, D., & Langer, E. J. (2019). Longitudinal associations between mindfulness and well-being in people with multiple sclerosis. International Journal of Clinical Health and Psychology, 19(1), 22–30.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2018.11.003

Ruiz-Fernández, M. D., Ramos-Pichardo, J. D., Ibáñez-Masero, O., Carmona-Rega, M. I., Sánchez-Ruiz, M. J., & Ortega-Galán, Á. M. (2021). Professional quality of life, self-compassion, resilience, and empathy in healthcare professionals during COVID-19 crisis in Spain. Research in Nursing & Health, 44(4), 620–632.
https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.22158

Schultz, P. P., Ryan, R. M., Niemiec, C. P., Legate, N., & Williams, G. C. (2015). Mindfulness, work climate, and psychological need satisfaction in employee well-being. Mindfulness, 6, 971–985.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-014-0338-7

Searle, B. J., & Lee, L. (2015). Proactive coping as a personal resource in the expanded job demands–resources model. International Journal of Stress Management, 22(1), 46–69.
https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038439

Sears, S., & Kraus, S. (2009). I think therefore i om: Cognitive distortions and coping style as mediators for the effects of mindfulness meditation on anxiety, positive and negative affect, and hope. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65(6), 561–573.
https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.20543

Taylor, N. Z., & Millear, P. M. R. (2016). The contribution of mindfulness to predicting burnout in the workplace. Personality and Individual Differences, 89, 123–128.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.10.005

Väisänen, S., Pietarinen, J., Pyhältö, K., Toom, A., & Soini, T. (2018). Student teachers’ proactive strategies and experienced learning environment for reducing study-related burnout. Journal of Education and Learning, 7(1), 208–222.
https://doi.org/10.5539/jel.v7n1p208

van den Berg, M. J., Wu, L. J., & Gander, P. H. (2016). Subjective measurements of in-flight sleep, circadian variation, and their relationship with fatigue. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, 87(10), 869–875.
https://doi.org/10.3357/AMHP.4587.2016

van der Meulen, R. T., Valentin, S., Bögels, S. M., & de Bruin, E. I. (2021). Mindfulness and self-compassion as mediators of the Mindful2Work Training on perceived stress and chronic fatigue. Mindfulness, 12, 936–946.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01557-6

Wang, H., Xu, Q., Yang, C., You, X., & Ji, M. (2019). Anticipated negative emotions effect on incident involvement among civil pilots. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, 90(9), 774–781.
https://doi.org/10.3357/AMHP.5364.2019

Westphal, M., Bingisser, M.-B., Feng, T., Wall, M., Blakley, E., Bingisser, R., & Kleim, B. (2015). Protective benefits of mindfulness in emergency room personnel. Journal of Affective Disorders, 175, 79–85.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2014.12.038

Whitaker, R. C., Herman, A. N., Dearth-Wesley, T., Hubbell, K., Huff, R., Heneghan, L. J., & Rowe, P. C. (2019). The association of fatigue with dispositional mindfulness: Relationships by levels of depressive symptoms, sleep quality, childhood adversity, and chronic medical conditions. Preventive Medicine, 29, Article 105873.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.105873

Wu, S., Li, H., Zhu, W., Lin, S., Chai, W., & Wang, X. (2012). Effect of work stressors, personal strain, and coping resources on burnout in Chinese medical professionals: A structural equation model. Industrial Health, 50(4), 279–287.
https://doi.org/10.2486/indhealth.ms1250

Zhang, C.-Q., Li, X., Chung, P.-K., Huang, Z., Bu, D., Wang, D., … Si, G. (2021). The effects of mindfulness on athlete burnout, subjective well-being, and flourishing among elite athletes: A test of multiple mediators. Mindfulness, 12, 1899–1908.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01644-2

Table/Figure

Figure 1. Parallel Mediation Model for the Association of Mindfulness and Burnout of Civil Pilots


Table 1. Demographic Characteristics of Pilots

Table/Figure

Note. ** p < .01.


Table 2. Descriptive Statistics and Correlations Between Mindfulness, Fatigue, Proactive Coping, and Burnout

Table/Figure

Note. *** p < .001 (two-tailed).


Table 3. Reliability and Convergent and Discriminant Validity of the Latent Variables

Table/Figure

Note. Numbers in boldface on the diagonal are the square root of average variance extracted (AVE); numbers below the diagonal are Pearson correlation coefficients.
*** p < .001 (two-tailed).


Table 4. Direct and Indirect Effects Between Mindfulness and Burnout

Table/Figure

Note. Bootstrapped resamples = 1,000; CI = confidence interval; LL = lower limit; UL = upper limit.


Hui Wang, Department of Military Medical Psychology, Air Force Medical University, Xi’an 710032, People’s Republic of China. Email: [email protected], or Xuqun You, Department of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, People’s Republic of China. Email: [email protected]

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