Prof. Dr. Margarita Bakracheva
Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"
Absract. Learned helplessness and self-handicapping are considered self-defences in situations of perceived lack of control and insecurity. The research purpose was to study their effect on well-being. 325 respondents of the convenient sample completed seven scales: on learned helplessness, self-handicapping, self-esteem, life meaning, mindfulness, optimism, and flourishing. Results reveal that flourishing decreases in result of self-handicapping, but this effect is fully mediated by the lack of perceived control and self-esteem and partially mediated by life meaning and the mindfulness. Learned helplessness also reduces experienced well-being, but this effect is fully mediated by self-esteem and partially mediated by and optimism, life meaning, and mindfulness. This suggests that learned helplessness and self-handicapping can be considered reactive or preventive situational responses, mediated by self-esteem, optimism and active reflection of situations and opportunities, and life meaning, being pathways, counter-balancing self-defenses.
Keywords: learned helplessness; self-handicapping; mindfulness; well being