| Mindfulness-Based Self Efficacy Scale – Revised (MSES-R)

The Mindfulness-based Self-Efficacy Scale – Revised (MSES-R) is a 22-item self-report scale for adults and adolescents (age 16+) designed to measure levels of self-efficacy in overcoming daily stressors. The MSES-R was developed with a focus on measuring skills that people felt improved in their lives as a consequence of mindfulness practice.

It was developed to measure the confidence in achieving the original purpose of mindfulness (reducing suffering), rather than measuring the construct of mindfulness itself. This is consistent with studies that have highlighted links between mindfulness and several forms of self-efficacy for improving self-regulation (Cayoun et al., 2022).

Mindfulness-based self-efficacy is assessed in six subscales:

  1. Emotion Regulation
  2. Social Skills
  3. Equanimity
  4. Distress Tolerance
  5. Taking Responsibility
  6. Interpersonal Effectiveness

The MSES-R is specifically designed as an outcome measure, where it assesses skills that typically develop from becoming more mindful while confronted by common stressors in daily life. When administered more than once the change in scores is graphed over time. A successful mindfulness-based intervention is indicated by an increase in the total score.

The MSES-R is expected to be particularly helpful in a clinical context because a strong sense of self-efficacy (i.e., a person’s perception or belief in their ability to perform certain skills or act effectively to attain their goals; Bandura, 1997) is related to greater effort, persistence, and self-benefitting behaviours (Schwarzer, 2008).

Psychometric Properties

Confirmatory factor analysis was performed on the MSES-R scores collected online from two Australian samples (clinical N = 1378; community N = 2866), two Canadian samples (clinical N = 595; community N = 321), and one Australian university student sample (N = 521). The MSES-R provided adequate fit across all samples (Cayoun et al., 2022). The overall MSES-R measure was highly reliable (alpha = 0.89), as was the Emotion Regulation subscale (0.88). The reliability of the Social Skills subscale (0.72) was in the low to moderate range, with the reliability of the other subscales being low (0.47-0.65). Due to containing a small number of items, the internal consistency of some subscales was low. Although the authors recommended relying most on the total MSES-R score (Cayoun et al., 2022), studies have also shown that subscale scores can be very helpful in clinical settings (e.g., Francis, et al., 2022). The test-retest reliability of the MSES-R total score over two weeks was 0.88.

Higher overall scores on the MSES-R were significantly associated with higher scores on the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) overall (r = 0.62), as well as higher scores on many of its subscales (Cayoun et al., 2022). Higher scores on the MSES-R were also significantly associated with lower overall DASS scores (r =  − 0.68), and on each subscale: Depression (r =  − 0.60), Anxiety (r =  − 0.56), and Stress (r =  − 0.62; Cayoun et al., 2022).

In a validation study by Cayoun et al. (2022), 4638 adults from the general community (54% females and 46% males, mean age = 38.9) were assessed using the MSES-R.

Scoring and Interpretation

The MSES-R is self-administered, both as a pen-and-paper instrument and as an online version that automatically calculates results, including norms comparisons (N = 7874). Normative data for male and female respondents, with and without a mental health condition, were collected online over a 12-year period. Comparisons with norms can be performed against the general community group (n = 4867) and the clinical group (n = 3007).

To assist with norms comparisons when the pen and paper version is used, we include the mean score for the overall MSES-R and each subscale below. We also provide average scores with a range between 0 and 4 (raw score divided by the number of questions) so that subscales scores can be easily compared, where higher scores are indicative of higher self-efficacy with mindfulness skills. The means and standard deviations below can be used to compute percentile ranks:

  1. MSES-R Total Score: Raw score mean = 57.7 (SD 13.3); Average score mean = 2.6 (SD 0.6)
    2. Emotion Regulation: Raw score mean = 14.8 (SD 5.4); Average score mean = 2.5 (SD 0.9)
    3. Social Skills: Raw score mean = 7.97 (SD 2.6); Average score mean = (SD 0.9)
    4. Equanimity: Raw score mean = 9.96 (SD 3.1); Average score mean = 2.5 (SD 0.8)
    5. Distress Tolerance: Raw score mean = 8.1 (SD 2.5); Average score mean = 2.7 (SD 0.8)
    6. Taking Responsibility: Raw score mean = 7.95 (SD 2.5); Average score mean = 2.7 (SD 0.8)
    7. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Raw score mean = 8.9 (SD 2.2); Average score mean = 3.0 (SD 0.7)

The 6 subscales for the MSES-R:

  1. Emotion Regulation(items 1, 4, 6, 7, 12, 18): relates to an involuntary or subconscious emotional response that is well modulated.
  2. Social Skills(items 2, 3, 20): social abilities in the broader sphere of interaction.
  3. Equanimity(items 5, 10, 13, 19): the ability to normalise difficulties and prevent reactivity.
  4. Distress Tolerance(items 8, 16, 17): inhibits avoidance of experiential intolerance or discomfort.
  5. Taking Responsibility(items 11, 21, 22): clarity of interpersonal boundaries and locus of control.
  6. Interpersonal Effectiveness(items 9, 14, 15): the ability to connect with others within the intimate sphere of relationships.

The MSES-R contains items requiring reversing the scores. Reverse scoring is necessary when a research instrument, such as the MSES-R, includes a group of items worded in the opposite direction to the others (e.g., positively vs negatively phrased) while measuring the same construct. This approach is commonly employed when some items are more meaningful or more readily understandable when written in this way. With the MSES-R, using the online version automatically reverses the relevant scores. For the pen-and-paper version, the 16 items to be scored in reverse are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 1,7 18, 21, and 22. Reversing the scores of listed items requires the following rescoring: 0 = 4; 1 = 3; 2 = 2; 3 = 1; and 4 = 0.


Cayoun, B., Elphinstone, B., Kasselis, N., Bilsborrow, G., & Skilbeck, C. (2022). Validation and Factor Structure of the Mindfulness-Based Self Efficacy Scale-Revised. Mindfulness, 13(3), 751–765. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-022-01834-6


Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. Freeman.

Francis, S. E. B., Shawyer, F., Cayoun, B., Enticott, J., and Meadows, G. N. (2022). Group Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MiCBT) reduces depression and anxiety and improves flourishing in a transdiagnostic primary care sample compared to treatment-as-usual: a randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13, 815170. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.815170

Schwarzer, R. (2008). Modeling health behavior change: How to predict and modify the adoption and maintenance of health behaviors. Applied Psychology, 57(1), 1–29. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1111/j. 1464- 0597. 2007. 00325.x



The MSES-R forms can be freely reproduced for clinical and research purposes.

Mindfulness-based Self-Efficacy Scale-Revised (MSES-R)

MSES-R Scoring Information Sheet

MSES-R 日本語

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