Mindfulness meditation for college students: A study of its utility and promotion of its practice post treatment

Amy Catherine Hoffmann Gurka, Marquette University


The following studies attempted to add to the small body of literature on the utility of mindfulness meditation techniques as efficacious stress management tools. Additionally, they attempted to address the lack of data on effective post treatment adherence promotion techniques. The first study hypothesized that college students who learned and practiced mindfulness meditation based body checks would experience a reduction in stress-related somatic symptomatology and an increase in well-being. In this study 123 college students from a major university voluntarily enrolled in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program for 4 weeks that taught two forms of mindfulness-based stress management techniques. A wait-list control group of 29 students was used to demonstrate efficacy of the program. The second study hypothesized that use of a Health Belief Model (HBM) based cue to action, i.e., post treatment e-mail reminders, would result in higher rates of practice as well as higher levels of post treatment maintenance of benefits. In this study the same 123 subjects were randomly assigned to reminders or no reminders conditions at post treatment. Results of the first study demonstrated a significant reduction in stress-related somatic symptomatology and a significant increase in well-being from pretreatment to post treatment. However, no differences in practice level or maintenance of post treatment benefits were noted in the second study. Conclusions drawn from these results were in favor of the use of mindfulness-based body checks for stress reduction in college students. However, further research is needed on cost-effective methods of post treatment adherence promotion.

This paper has been withdrawn.