, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 179–188 | Cite as

Mindfulness and the College Transition: The Efficacy of an Adapted Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention in Fostering Adjustment among First-Year Students

  • Taylor R. Ramler
  • Linda R. Tennison
  • Julie Lynch
  • Patsy Murphy


Recent years have witnessed a marked proliferation in the interest in and relevant literature pertaining to the practice of mindfulness. In light of this trend and the pervasive stress common among college populations, the present study examined the efficacy of an adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention in fostering adjustment among first-year students. Sixty-two (N = 62) nonvolunteer participants were assigned to either an 8-week adapted MBSR intervention (n = 30) or a control condition (n = 32). Stress and adjustment indices were gathered using diurnal salivary cortisol samples and the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ). Intervention participants further completed the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) pre- and post-intervention. Analyses indicate that mindfulness, as part of an adapted MBSR intervention, can (1) contribute to enhanced first-year adjustment across multiple domains, (2) reduce physiological stress levels, and (3) be cultivated to some degree in student populations through relatively ephemeral instruction. Moreover, male participants demonstrated significantly better adjustment in several areas relative to females. These findings underscore the need for more serious consideration of mindfulness-based practices in college environments in an effort to foster well-being in this vulnerable population. Limitations of the current study and future research considerations are discussed.


Adjustment College students Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire Mindfulness-based stress reduction Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire Salivary cortisol 



This research was funded by a Faculty Development and Research Grant provided by the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. We would like to thank Julie Lynch and Patsy Murphy for their tremendous help in implementing the study. We would also like to thank Alexander Twohy for analyzing the cortisol samples. Finally, we thank all of the first-year student participants for their time and effort.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taylor R. Ramler
    • 1
  • Linda R. Tennison
    • 1
  • Julie Lynch
    • 2
  • Patsy Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology Department, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s UniversityCollegevilleUSA
  2. 2.Communication DepartmentCollege of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s UniversityCollegevilleUSA

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