Author

Jordan Sieja

Date Approved

2019

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Ellen Koch

Second Advisor

Stephen Jefferson

Third Advisor

Carol Freedman-Doan

Abstract

Mindfulness-based meditation is a practice that has been proven to have many physiological and psychological health benefits such as positive lifestyle habits, increased mindfulness, decrease in substance use, decrease in stress, better mood states, and enhanced coping strategies. University students undergo many different types of stressors at one time such as financial instability, identity development, academic pressures, parental expectations, and racial/cultural differences (Kadison & Geronimo, 2004). Intense stress when it is not coped with effectively can lead to many different health problems physically and mentally. The current study evaluates the effects of mindfulness meditation with undergraduate students and it was expected that practicing mindfulness meditation would 1) reduce perceptions of stress, 2) increase perceptions of mindfulness, and 3) increase rates of acceptability in relation to mindfulness and meditation. It was also expected that an increase in compliance and acceptance would occur after experiencing the intervention. Thirty-one undergraduate students participated in an intervention, a 7-day phase of completing a survey on their meditation practice, and a 30- day follow up survey. There was no statistical significance between the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) at 30-day follow up from preintervention scores. However, students who continued meditation practice over the 7-day phase did see a significant outcome between the scores (p < .05) and students who practiced meditation highly valued the time they took each day. Students had decreased stress in the moment during the intervention from baseline stress levels (p < .01) and accepted deep breathing the most (p < .05). Students favored implementing a course into universities and did not have a significant change with their attitudes from post-intervention to 30-day follow up. Findings overall stayed consistent with the current literature and new questions were discussed for future implications.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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