, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 1071–1081 | Cite as

A Brief Mindfulness Intervention for Healthy College Students and Its Effects on Psychological Distress, Self-Control, Meta-Mood, and Subjective Vitality

  • Nicholas K. CanbyEmail author
  • Ian M. Cameron
  • Amrit T. Calhoun
  • Gregory M. Buchanan


This study investigated the effects of a 6-week adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention on the psychological health and well-being of college students. The experimental group participants were students and faculty (N = 19) who signed up for the mindfulness-based class, and the control group participants (N = 25) were interested in the class but were unable to sign up in time to enroll. Participants were surveyed three times on a range of self-report psychological variables including symptoms of psychological distress, emotional awareness, self-control, day-to-day mindfulness, and subjective vitality. A control group took the same surveys but did not receive any treatment. The adapted-MBSR intervention significantly reduced psychological distress in the experimental group participants as compared to the control group (p = .027, η 2 = .161) and significantly increased self reported mindful awareness (p = .028, η 2 = .160), self-control (p = .007, η 2 = .216), and subjective vitality (p = .001, η 2 = .293), while meta-mood was not affected (p = .314, η 2 = .055). We concluded that MBSR has wide-ranging positive effects on college students, and would be beneficial as a campus stress reduction and preventative mental health intervention.


Mindfulness College Self-control Subjective vitality Psychological distress Brief intervention 



In memory of Ian Cameron, a powerful light and inspiration for us all, who tragically passed away on June 29th, 2013. Many thanks to Willoughby Britton and her lab for encouraging and supporting the creation of this publication and offering feedback. Many thanks to Gregory Buchanan, who consistently offered his expert guidance to this project from the start, and to William Conover for his practical training and vision. Thank you to all of the participants in the study, who willingly donated their time in filling out the surveys. Thank you to the Beloit College Psychology department for providing an excellent education and for supporting this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas K. Canby
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ian M. Cameron
    • 2
  • Amrit T. Calhoun
    • 3
  • Gregory M. Buchanan
    • 4
  1. 1.NorthamptonUSA
  2. 2.East GreenwichUSA
  3. 3.EugeneUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyBeloit CollegeBeloitUSA

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