The Feasibility of Bringing Brief Mindfulness-Based Training to the University Classroom
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Mindfulness has been promoted as a way to increase resiliency during times of stress. Universities are reporting that record numbers of undergraduate students are seeking mental health services related to stress. This study assessed the feasibility of layering brief mindfulness-based practice within a large-scale university course. Data were collected from 115 participants enrolled in a third-year psychology course. The intervention took approximately 5 min of the 80-min class time on alternating course days, resulting in no deleterious effects on learning outcomes. 53.6% of the students indicated that they had used the practice outside of class, possibly leading to long-term positive effects in multiple areas. One-fifth of students reported seeking out other opportunities to learn about mindfulness in the same semester. Participants reported increased stress and decreased mindfulness over the course of the study, which corresponded to the assessment points within the semester, but may also highlight the impact of mindfulness training on awareness of both positive and negative emotional states. Future research should consider the role of brief mindfulness interventions in stress reduction, anxiety reduction, overall coping, and academic engagement in the undergraduate large-class environment.
KeywordsMindfulness Stress University students Feasibility
The authors wish to acknowledge the funding for this study provided by the University of Windsor’s Centre for Teaching and Learning through the Undergraduate Research Engagement Fund. The authors also wish to thank the three reviewers who provided substantial guidance to improve the overall quality of our manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals
The research from which this manuscript was developed was approved by University of Windsor’s Research Ethics Board as meeting the required ethical standards for experimentation with human subjects. These standards are in compliance with the ethical standards for experimentation required by Tri-Council, the major government funding and research oversight agency in Canada.
All participants provided informed consent in writing prior to participating.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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