Background: Examining the evolutionary process in life span indicates that adolescence is known as one of the most vulnerable stages of life, during which the prevalence and occurrence of emotional problems increases significantly. The present study was conducted to determine the causal relationships between problem solving, mindfulness, and social competence mediated by cognitive flexibility of female students.
Methods: The method of the present work was correlational, which was performed in the form of path analysis. The statistical population included all the ninth-grade female students in Zanjan in the academic year 2019. Based on the population size, 338 were selected as a sample through cluster sampling. For data collection, questionnaires of mindfulness (2006), social competence (1990), cognitive flexibility (2010), and problem-solving inventory (1982) were employed. The collected data were analyzed by the use of path analysis method, maximum likelihood method, Pearson correlation tests, path analysis, and SPSS/Amos software version 25.
Results: The results showed that there is a direct relationship between mindfulness (β=0.63, P=0.001) and flexibility (β=0.14, P=0.001) with problem solving. The study of indirect effects also revealed that the effects of social competence on problem solving (β=0.272, P=0.001), mindfulness on flexibility (β=0.165, P=0.002), and mindfulness on problem solving is significant.
Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that mindfulness, social competence, and cognitive flexibility can be considered as fundamental factors in solving the problem of ninth-grade female students.