The effect of dbt-informed mindfulness skills (what and how skills) and mindfulness-based stress reduction practices on test anxiety in college students: A mixed design study

  • II John LothesEmail author
  • Kirk Mochrie
  • Morgan Wilson
  • Robert Hakan


Many studies have shown the anxiety reducing effects of extended mindfulness interventions; however, few have examined mindfulness interventions on test anxiety in a college student population. This study assesses the effects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy’s (DBT’s) mindfulness skills and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction practices over an 8-week period on college students. Participants (N = 43), included randomly assigned college students that were either included in a mindfulness group (an 8-week mindfulness training course), an online mindfulness group, or acted as a waitlist control group (no intervention received). Participants were assessed on text anxiety, general anxiety, and mindfulness at the beginning, mid-way point, and end of the study. Participants in the mindfulness conditions showed significant within-group reductions in test anxiety, general anxiety, and all sub-scales of mindfulness, except Observe, while participants in the Wait-List Control group primarily did not show changes. This specific mindfulness intervention that taught the “What” and “How” skills of DBT’s mindfulness module can help students reduce test anxiety and general anxiety as well as increase individual levels of mindfulness.


Mindfulness Test anxiety Anxiety Dialectical behavior therapy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

Authors 1, 2, 3 and 4 declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, College of Health and Human ServicesUNC WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentUNC WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA

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