Lockdown social isolation and lockdown stress during the COVID-19 pandemic in China: The impact of mindfulness

Jianfeng Li, Luyang Zhou, B.I.J.M. van der Heijden, Shengxiao Li, Hong Tao, Zhiwen Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study is aimed to examine the impact of mindfulness in the relationship between social isolation, job and financial insecurity, and stress during the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on Conservation of Resources theory, Psychological Contract theory, Mindfulness theory, and Awareness notion, we propose that lockdown job insecurity partially mediates the link from lockdown social isolation to lockdown financial insecurity, and that the relationship between lockdown social isolation and lockdown stress is mediated as follows: first, simple partial mediation through both lockdown job and financial insecurity and second, sequential mediation through lockdown job and financial insecurity, respectively. Moreover, we assume that mindfulness moderates the relationship between lockdown financial insecurity and lockdown stress. The results from our SEM analyses, using a sample of 1,356 respondents in China, support all the research hypotheses. Based on this empirical work, this study concludes that mindfulness, which is considered by many people to play a role in reducing stress during the COVID-19 lockdown period, is de facto endangering their mental health (that is, they experience more stress) instead. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as limitations and proposals for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number778402
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2022


  • COVID-19
  • lockdown financial insecurity
  • lockdown job insecurity
  • lockdown social isolation
  • lockdown stress
  • mindfulness


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