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Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Course on Learning and Cognitive Performance among University Students in Taiwan


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Mindfulness training has recently gained much research interest because of its putative benefits for both mental and physical health. However, little is available in its effects on Asian students. Therefore, a quasi-experimental pre/posttest design was used to assess the effects of a one-semester mindfulness meditation course in 152 first-year Taiwanese university students and compared with 130 controls. The Chinese version of the College Learning Effectiveness Inventory (CLEI) and a computer software program focused on specific cognitive tasks were used for the evaluation. Results from the analysis of covariance revealed that while the score of the full CLEI scale was significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the control ( P = 0.022 ), none of the comparisons between the nine CLEI subscales were significantly different between the two groups. For the computer cognitive tasks, the intervention group exhibited significantly better performance in the accuracy of the digital vigilance task ( P = 0.048 ), choice reaction time ( P = 0.004 ), spatial working memory ( P = 0.042 ), and digital vigilance task reaction time ( P = 0.004 ). This study showed that a one-semester mindfulness meditation course was able to improve learning effectiveness and both attention and memory aspects of cognitive performance among Taiwanese university students. Corrigendum to “Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Course on Learning and Cognitive Performance among University Students in Taiwan”
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Research Article
Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Course on Learning and
Cognitive Performance among University Students in Taiwan
Ho-Hoi Ching,1Malcolm Koo,2,3 Tsung-Huang Tsai,4and Chiu-Yuan Chen1,5
2Department of Medical Research, Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Dalin,
Chiayi 62247, Taiwan
4Department of Psychiatry, Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Dalin, Chiayi 62247, Taiwan
5Research and Extension Center of Natural Healing Sciences, Nanhua University, Dalin, Chiayi 62249, Taiwan
Correspondence should be addressed to Chiu-Yuan Chen;
Received  September ; Revised  October ; Accepted  October 
Academic Editor: Brett Froeliger
Copyright ©  Ho-Hoi Ching et al. is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Mindfulness training has recently gained much research interest because of its putative benets for both mental and physical
health. However, little is available in its eects on Asian students. erefore, a quasi-experimental pre/posttest design was used
to assess the eects of a one-semester mindfulness meditation course in  rst-year Taiwanese university students and compared
with  controls. e Chinese version of the College Learning Eectiveness Inventory (CLEI) and a computer soware program
focused on specic cognitive tasks were used for the evaluation. Results from the analysis of covariance revealed that while the
score of the full CLEI scale was signicantly higher in the intervention group compared with the control (𝑃 = 0.022), none of
the comparisons between the nine CLEI subscales were signicantly dierent between the two groups. For the computer cognitive
tasks, the intervention group exhibited signicantly better performance in the accuracy of the digital vigilance task (𝑃 = 0.048),
choice reaction time (𝑃 = 0.004), spatial working memory (𝑃 = 0.042), and digital vigilance task reaction time (𝑃 = 0.004). is
study showed that a one-semester mindfulness meditation course was able to improve learning eectiveness and both attention
and memory aspects of cognitive performance among Taiwanese university students.
1. Introduction
Mindfulness can be considered as a meditation practice that
cultivates present moment awareness []. e word mindful-
ness originates from the combination of two Pali words,
Sati which means “awareness” and Samprajanya, “clear com-
prehension.” Mindfulness meditation aims to foster inner
calmness and nonjudgment of the mind, which can help
individuals to “acknowledge and accept as it is” in all aspects
of daily life [, ]. A PubMed search of the term mindfulness
revealed the following trend:  articles published between
 and ;  articles published between  and ;
 articles published between  and ; and ,
articles published between  and August . Mindful-
ness meditation has been studied in a broad range of mental
and physical health outcomes, such as major depression
[], cancer [], HIV pathogenesis [], multiple sclerosis [],
chronic low back pain [], chronic insomnia [], and chronic
kidney disease [].
In addition to its eects on pathogenesis, mindfulness
meditation has also been evaluated regarding its putative
benecial role in improving attention [, ], cognition [],
cognitive exibility [, ], and academic performance [].
Nevertheless, to our knowledge, no studies have evaluated
the eects of mindfulness meditation on Taiwanese university
students. We took advantage of a new curriculum oered by
course is a mandatory credited course for all rst-year
students. e aim of this study was to explore the eects of
a mindfulness meditation course on learning and cognitive
performance among Taiwanese university students.
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 254358, 7 pages
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
2. Methods
2.1. Study Design and Participants. is study was carried out
in accordance with the protocol approved by the Institutional
Review Board of the Buddhist Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital,
Taiwan (number B).
is intervention study used a quasi-experimental
pre/posttest design. is study was conducted in a private
university in south Taiwan where a one-semester course in
mindfulness meditation is a part of the core curriculum for
all rst-year students. Since the course was oered in both
the rst and second semester and this study was conducted in
the rst semester of a school year, we recruited the students
total of  classes) as the intervention group and those who
semester as the control group.
Aer obtaining the approval from the course instructor,
one of the study investigators (Ho-Hoi Ching) went to each
of the  classes, that is,  classes of mindfulness meditation
and  classes of physical exercise, to explain the research and
invite participants.
A total of  students,  in the intervention group and
 in the control group, consented to participate in the study.
During the study period,  (%) and  (%) students
in the intervention group and control group, respectively,
dropped out from the study. erefore, only  (%) in the
intervention group and  (%) controls were included in
the data analyses.
2.2. Intervention. e mindfulness meditation course con-
sisted of  weekly -minute classes (a total of  hours)
during September in  and February . e course
content was modeled based on the concepts of mindfulness-
based meditations with reference to traditional Buddhists
context. Students in the mindfulness meditation course
engaged in formal meditation practices such as mindful
breathing, body scan, and eating and walking meditation.
During class time, the focus was on formal practice but
students were encouraged to apply mindfulness skills in their
everyday life. Students were required to attend classes, to
submit a practice diary, and to watch online course materials
e outline of the mindfulness meditation intervention is
included in Table .
2.3. Measurement Tools. is study used the Chinese version
of the College Learning Eectiveness Inventory (CLEI) and
a set of computer cognitive tasks to measure the eects of
mindfulness meditation intervention on students’ learning
and cognition (attention and working memory), respectively.
e pretest and posttest were administrated to the students at
week  and week , respectively.
2.4. College Learning Eectiveness Inventory. e College
Learning Eectiveness Inventory (CLEI) is a valid and reli-
able assessment tool designed to measure college students’
attitudes and behaviors that may impact learning and aca-
demic performance. e CLEI contains clearly denable and
T : Outline of the mindfulness meditation intervention.
Week Cont e n t
(i) Course orientation
(ii) Basics of body scan
(iii) Mindful eating
(i) Advanced body scan
(ii) -minute breathing meditation
(iii) Training attention and awareness through
mindful breathing
(iv) Basics of diary on mindfulness practice
(i) Walking meditation (live in the moment)
(ii) Breathing techniques
(iii) e classical basis of the mindfulness
meditation course
(iv) Administration of the pretest (College Learning
Eectiveness Inventory and computer cognitive
Mindful meditations
(i) Mindfulness practice before sleeping
(ii) Nonjudgmental versus judgmental
Mindfulness and the Noble Eightfold Path
(i) From mindfulness to “fullness of
(ii) Mindfulness diary writing skills
(i) How do we know the world
(ii) Mindfulness and health
 (mid-term
exam) -minute mindfulness meditation practice
 (i) e beginner’s mind
(ii) Benets of mindful speech
 (i) Mindfulness interpersonal skills
(ii) Basic use of dialectical behavior therapy
 (i) Mindfulness and scientic research
(ii) Mindfulness attitudes
 Mindful living
(i) Purpose of behavior with “fullness of
(ii) e use of the beginner’s mind
(iii) Balanced view of pros and cons
(i) Perspective views are decided by angles
(ii) Investigating the lters of knowing (cognition)
(iii) Administration of the posttest (College
Learning Eectiveness Inventory and computer
cognitive tasks)
 Principle of not harming and principle of sincere
(i) oughts as thoughts, not necessarily the
(ii) e use of mindfulness-based cognitive
(iii) e origin of life dependent
(iv) Helpers also need mindfulness
 -minute mindfulness meditation practice
operational items to measure psychosocial factors including
thoughts, feelings, or behaviors related to academic outcomes
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
e CLEI was previously translated into Chinese and its
psychometric properties were evaluated in  Taiwanese
university students. A Cronbach alpha of . was obtained
for the Chinese version of CLEI, indicating a good internal
consistency. In addition, the -week test-retest study was con-
ducted on  students and a test-retest reliability coecient
of . was obtained for the scale []. e scale consists of
nine subscales with  questions using ve-point Likert-scale
responses from never to always. Negatively phrased items
were reverse scored. e total scores range from  to  with
a higher score representing better learning eectiveness.
e nine subscales of the Chinese version of CLEI are
as follows. () Emotional satisfaction: it reects the extent of
students’ interest in university life and emotional reactions,
including those towards people and to the environment on
campus. () Management (plan and time management): it
reveals the ability to organize and time management when
academic activities among college students. () Achieve-
ment: it reects the degree of students in actively setting
goals for themselves and trying to pursue success and also
reects students’ own expectations for success. () Stress:
it reects students perceived pressure from schoolwork and
time and whether they can properly handle stress from
the environment and the academic needs. () Attention
to study: it reveals the extent of university students for
learning and academic focus. () Class communication: it
includes communications between teachers and students in
classroom activities, including verbal and nonverbal part. ()
Condence: it reects the faith and condence demonstrated
by students for their academic ability. () Involvement with
college activity: it refers to belonging to certain organiza-
tions or participating in some activities within the campus
environment, including social and academic activities. ()
Friendship: it refers to the interaction and friendship with
friends, classmates, or other students when participating the
campus community or activities, such as group assignments
or studying together. In this study, the Chinese version of the
CLEI was administered online using an open-source learning
management system Moodle (
2.5. Computer Cognitive Tasks. e cognitive measurement
cognitive performance of attention and working memory
[]. Students were asked to complete it aer they had nished
cognitive tasks included in this study were digit vigilance
tasks, choice reaction times, spatial working memory, and
memory scanning tasks. e rst two tasks were used to
measure attention and the last two were used to measure
memory. A basic description of these four tasks is as follows.
() Digit vigilance task: a number (from  to  and ) was
displayed constantly on dierent places of the screen. If
the appearing number matched with the number in the
middle, the participant must press the “” button as quickly
as possible every time the digit in the center matched the
one constantly displayed. If the appearing number did not
press the “” button. Accuracy of response (%) and reaction
time (milliseconds) were recorded. A higher percentage in
accuracy and a lower value in reaction time represent better
performance.is task was designed to measure sustained
attention. () Choice reaction time: either the letter X or
the letter Y was presented on dierent parts of the screen.
e participant must press the “” for X or “” button for
trials and the interval varied randomly between  and .
seconds. Accuracy (%) and reaction time (milliseconds) were
recorded. is task was designed to measure attention and
vigilance. In the posttest, X and Y were changed to U and
V to reduce learning eect. () Spatial working memory: a
schematic picture of a house was presented for  seconds.
e house had nine windows in a  ×pattern,ofwhich
were illuminated. A series of  presentations of the same
house in which just one window was illuminated follow, and
the participant had to respond “” if the window was one
of the four lit in the original presentation or “” if it was
not. Reaction time and accuracy were recorded. is task was
designed to measure memory. In the pretest, the color of the
box was yellow and it was changed to red in the posttest. ()
Memory scanning task: ve digits were presented singly at
the rate of one per second for the participant to remember.
A series of thirty digits was then presented. For each, the
participant must press  or  according to whether the digit
was thought to be one of the ve presented initially. is was
repeated three times using a dierent set of  digits on each
occasion. Reaction time and accuracy were recorded. is
task was also designed to measure memory.
2.6. Statistical Analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to
examine the sample demographic data, including sex, reli-
gious aliations, perceived health status, experience prac-
ticing mindfulness meditation, and college of study. e
distributions of these variables in the intervention group
and control were compared with chi-square test. Indepen-
dent 𝑡-test was used to compare the posttest minus pretest
(delta) scores between intervention group and control group.
Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to compare the
scores obtained from the full CLEI and each of its nine
subscales between intervention group and control group,
adjusted for the potential confounding eects of pretest
scores, sex, college, and experience with mindfulness medita-
tion. In addition, the accuracy and reaction time for the four
computer cognitive tasks between the intervention group and
control were each separately analyzed with ANCOVA. Least
square means and their associated % condence intervals
were presented. All analyses were conducted using IBM
SPSS Statistics soware package, version . (IBM Corp.,
Armonk, NY, USA). A 𝑃 < 0.05 was considered statistically
3. Results
A total of  students,  in the intervention group and
of the study. All participants were between  and  years
of age and % were females. e distributions of their
sex, religious aliations, perceived health status, experience
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
T : Characteristics of the study participants (𝑁 = 282).
Variabl e 𝑛(%)
Chi-square statistic 𝑃value
 ()
Intervention group
 (.)
Control group
 (.)
Sex . <.
Males  (.)  (.)  (.)
Females  (.)  (.)  (.)
Religious aliation . .
None  (.)  (.)  (.)
Buddhism  (.)  (.)  (.)
Taoi s m  (.)  (.)  (.)
Others  (.)  (.)  (.)
Perceived health status . .
Healthy  (.)  (.)  (.)
Neutral  (.)  (.)  (.)
Unhealthy  (.)  (.)  (.)
Experience practicing mindfulness meditation . <.
Ye s  (.)  (.)  (.)
No  (.)  (.)  (.)
College of study . <.
Management and social sciences  (.)  (.)  (.)
Humanities and arts  (.)  (.)  (.)
Science and technology  (.)  (.)  (.)
with mindfulness mediation, and the college of study were
health status, the other factors were signicantly dierent
between the intervention group and control. ese factors
were included in the subsequent ANCOVA to adjust for their
potential confounding eects.
e unadjusted means of CLEI and computer cognitive
tasks at week  and week  for the intervention group and
control group are shown in Table . No signicant dierences
were observed in the delta scores of the scales between
intervention group and control group.
Table  shows the least squares mean scores for the CLEI
CLEI scale was signicantly higher in the intervention group
compared with the control (𝑃 = 0.022), none of the com-
parisons between the nine CLEI subscales were signicantly
dierent between the two groups. For the computer cognitive
tasks, the intervention group exhibited signicantly better
performance in the accuracy of the digital vigilance task (𝑃=
0.048), choice reaction time (𝑃 = 0.004), and spatial working
memory (𝑃 = 0.042) and also in the reaction time of the
digital vigilance task (𝑃 = 0.004).
4. Discussion
In this quasi-experimental pre/posttest design study, the
eects of a curriculum-based mindfulness meditation course
on learning and cognitive performance among univer-
sity students were investigated. Overall, we found that a
one-semester mindfulness meditation course was able to
signicantly improve learning performance, as reected by
the least squares mean scores of the full CLEI scale (𝑃=
0.022). However, none of nine subscales showed signicant
dierences between the intervention group and control.
Based on the literature [], we anticipated that the stress
with mindfulness meditation training. A literature review
of  medical schools that taught mindfulness to medical
students and residents suggested that mindfulness programs
were able to decrease psychological distress []. A possible
reason for the lack of signicant eect on stress in the present
study could be a regression to the mean eect where stress
levels are high at the beginning of a school term but will
naturally regress to a low level once students are familiar with
university life, regardless of whether they have enrolled in the
mindfulness meditation program. Another possible reason
is that the mindfulness meditation program was oered as
a mandatory course. Not all students were interested and
engaged in using mindfulness meditation as a way to manage
their stress levels. Our ndings might be dierent if the
program was oered as an elective course where enrolled
students are more motivated. A -week mindfulness-based
curriculum on teacher-ratings of student classroom behavior
at a public elementary school showed improved classroom
behavior such as paying attention, self-control, participation
in activities, and caring/respect for others []. Nevertheless,
no control group was used for a comparison in the study.
e eects of mindfulness meditation on elementary school
students and university students may be dierent and will
require further research.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
T : Unadjusted means of College Learning Eectiveness Inventory (CLEI) and computer cognitive tasks at week  and week  for the
intervention group and control group (𝑁 = 282).
Variabl e
Mean (standard deviation)
Intervention Control
Pretest score
(week )
Posttest score
(week ) Δscore Pretest score
(week )
Posttest score
(week ) Δscore
College Learning Eectiveness
Inventory (CLEI) 𝑛 = 152 𝑛 = 130
Full scale score . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Emotional satisfaction score . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Management score . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Achievement . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Stress . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Attention to study . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Class communication . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Condence . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Involvement with college activity . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Friendship . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
Computer cognitive task
() Digit vigilance task 𝑛 = 112 𝑛 = 66
Accuracy (%) . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
Reaction time (msec) . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.  . ±. .
() Choice reaction time 𝑛 = 112 𝑛 = 66
Accuracy (%) . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
Reaction time (msec) . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
() Spatial working memory 𝑛 = 112 𝑛 = 66
Accuracy (%) . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
Reaction time (msec) . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.  . ±. .
() Memory scanning task 𝑛 = 109 𝑛 = 64
Accuracy (%) .±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±. .
Reaction time (msec) . ±. . ±. . ±.  . ±. . ±. . ±. .
𝑃values were calculated by independent 𝑡-test comparing Δbetween intervention group and control group.
Δ: posttest values minus pretest values.
Regarding the eects on cognitive performance, the
mindfulness meditation course was able to signicantly
improve the accuracy of digital vigilance task, choice reaction
time, and spatial working memory as well as the reaction
time in digital vigilance task. Improvements in attentional
task performance were consistent with previous research [,
]. It is suggested that the process of mindfulness training
can promote attentional stability by promoting a balance
between a relaxed and vigilant state of mind and thereby
enhancing cognition through a better ability to self-regulate
emotions []. Moreover, mindfulness training may increase
participants’ cognitive performance by improving their mood
and reducing mind wandering. Mind wandering and mood
disturbances can negatively impact learning and memory
[]. A series of studies on short-term mindfulness-based
intervention on undergraduate students suggested that the
associated improvements in executive function are related to
the neural circuitry specic to the anterior cingulate cortex
and the autonomic nervous system [].
A few limitations should be noted when interpreting the
on random assignment. Although the factors with uneven
distribution between two groups were adjusted in ANCOVA,
other unmeasured factors such as sleep quality and usage
of caeine beverages could potentially aect the results.
Second, due to unforeseen computer issues, approximately
half of the controls and a quarter of the participants in the
intervention group were not able to complete the computer
cognitive tasks as expected. Nevertheless, the computer issues
ANCOVA to compare the CLEI scores of the participants
with missing data with those of participants without missing
data on computer cognitive task. We found no signicant
dierences between the two groups (𝑃 = 0.653), implying
that the pattern of missing is random. ird, approximately
% of the initial participants dropped out from the study.
Fourth, we used a binary variable to adjust for the experi-
ence in practicing mindfulness meditation. Information on
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
T : Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) for the eects of mindfulness meditation on College Learning Eectiveness Inventory (CLEI)
andcomputercognitivetasks(𝑁 = 282).
Variabl e Least squares mean (% condence interval)a𝐹statistic (df) 𝑃value
Intervention Control
College Learning Eectiveness Inventory (CLEI) 𝑛 = 152 𝑛 = 130
Full scale score . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Emotional satisfaction score . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Management score . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Achievement . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Stress . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Attention to study . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Class communication . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Condence . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Involvement with college activity . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Friendship . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
Computer cognitive task
() Digit vigilance task 𝑛 = 112 𝑛 = 66
Accuracy (%) . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
Reaction time (msec) . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Choice reaction time 𝑛 = 112 𝑛 = 66
Accuracy (%) . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
Reaction time (msec) . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Spatial working memory 𝑛 = 112 𝑛 = 66
Accuracy (%) . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
Reaction time (msec) . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
() Memory scanning task 𝑛 = 109 𝑛 = 64
Accuracy (%) . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
Reaction time (msec) . (., .) . (., .) . (, ) .
aMeans were posttest scores adjusted for pretest scores, sex, college, and experience with mindfulness meditation.
msec: millisecond.
the length and frequency of practice was not ascertained
and therefore cannot be further adjusted. Fih, the 𝑃values
obtained should be interpreted in view of the increased
chance of type  error as a result of multiple comparisons
of subscales of the CLEI and components of the computer
cognitive task. Finally, the possibility of a placebo eect
cannot be evaluated and future studies should consider the
use of a sham meditation group [].
In conclusion, ndings from this study are consistent
with the notion that attentional performance can be trained.
A one-semester mindfulness meditation course was able
to improve learning eectiveness and both attention and
memory aspects of cognitive performance among university
students. Eective learning and sustained attention and
memory are important requirements for success and well-
being in academic contexts. Incorporating a mindfulness
meditation course in the curriculum may be a feasible
approach to improve learning eectiveness and cognition
performance in university students.
Conflict of Interests
e authors declare that there is no conict of interests
regarding the publication of this paper.
Authors’ Contribution
Ho-Hoi Ching and Malcolm Koo contributed equally to this
work. Ho-Hoi Ching and Chiu-Yuan Chen conceived and
designed the study, Ho-Hoi Ching conducted the study and
the data, Ho-Hoi Ching and Malcolm Koo wrote the paper,
and Ho-Hoi Ching, Malcolm Koo, and Chiu-Yuan Chen
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... With this caveat, some outstanding studies are discussed below that relate mindfulness to the improvement of learning abilities published in the last decade. Ching et al. (2015) conducted experimental work in Taiwan, a pioneer in the Asian continent, to evaluate the impact on the cognitive improvement of college students after mindfulness implementations. They used the Chinese version of the College Learning Effectiveness Inventory (CLEI) for this work. ...
... Newton et al. successfully used it to measure college student academic performance and to support the efforts of institutional advising and mentoring departments. The variables that comprise this instrument have undergone several comparative and validation studies (Akbarov and Had zimehmedagi c, 2015;Ching et al., 2015;Yeager, 2009). Based on the CLEI, the authors of this study prepared a questionnaire in Spanish measured using a five-point Likert-type scale. ...
... These results are consistent with those found by Ching et al. (2015). However, they contradict the results obtained in Ecuador by M endez and Rosado (2019). ...
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Purpose This study experimentally aims to determine the degree of influence that mindfulness training exerts on learning capacity at the university level and contrasts it with previous observational or relational studies that have shown contradictory results. Design/methodology/approach A quasi-experiment was carried out to measure the variation of six academic learning abilities – a) self-efficacy, b) organization of and attention to studies, c) stress control due to time pressure and the environment, d) involvement with college activity, e) emotional satisfaction, and f) class communication – which together comprise the research questionnaire called the college learning effectiveness inventory (CLEI). The CLEI questionnaire was administered before and after the participants were trained in the mindfulness technique. The study was conducted in Ecuador, and the participants were selected from among the graduate students of a local university. Findings The learning ability measured by the CLEI was improved by a statistically significant margin in the two groups. Research limitations/implications The treatment groups consisted of graduate students who did not have opportunities for full-time activities on campus, as they were limited to attending regular classes at specific times, usually at night. The dropout rate was 14% due to inconveniences caused by the pandemic. These conditions could have affected the study results both positively and negatively. In addition, the pandemic limited academic interactions, which are required to evaluate the learning results after applying the research instrument. This limitation was especially critical for people who had experienced online classes only. Practical implications Offering graduate students the opportunity to learn about and adopt a mindfulness practice helps to improve their academic outcomes, as reflected through the statistical measurement of the CLEI indicator. Social implications This study is especially relevant within the context of sanitary conditions due to the pandemic and the intensive use of technology for managing academic interactions, both of which have replaced physical contact between participants. Originality/value The main contributions of this study are related to the determination of the practical effects of mindfulness training in postgraduate university settings and the identification of the mechanisms involving participants' reflecting upon, learning and understanding the importance of perfecting their soft skills to facilitate their learning processes and face today's uncertain environments.
... According to Josefsson et al [2], mindfulness did not directly affect the performance of an athlete, but through the effects of meditation in mindfulness it could decrease the stress level and increase athletes performance. In addition, mindfulness can create a calm feeling and positive thinking [38], in this way it was proven that physical health and cognition could be increased [39], back pain and insomnia could be reduced [40]. Research on mindfulness has been well documented globally [41,42,43,33,44]. ...
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Purpose. The application of mindfulness training in sports activities showed enhancement, but lack of evidence about the effects of mindfulness associated with burnout and stress in junior swimming athletes through mixed research methods which created a gap in this study. Therefore, this research analyzed the effects of mindfulness on burnout and stress. Material and methods. Mixed method research with 51 junior swimming athletes involved in this study. In this quantitative research, burnout level was measured using the Burnout Scale for University Athletes, while stress level was measured using The Perceived Stress Scale. The instruments in qualitative research involved in-depth interviews. Results. First, the findings of the quantitative research found that there were no differences in burnout and stress scores in the mindfulness and control groups at the baseline stage (p≥0.05), but there were differences at the post stage (p ≤ 0.05). While the results of the qualitative research showed diverse perceptions of participants including the advantage, drawbacks and impact of mindfulness training. Conclusions. Thus, our research confirms and highlights that mindfulness training is proven to be an alternative and solution for athletes in reducing burnout and stress levels intended for junior swimming athletes.
... These terms are most commonly used to describe the issue of excessive smartphone usage. Smartphone addiction has been identified as a health risk factor (Ching et al., 2015). ...
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Background: The smartphone is one of the finest technologies invented by human kind to minimize human effort and time. Now, this technology growth has reached its height of development which is taking human into its own control resulting increased smartphone usage and reduced sleep. This article establishing a present relationship focusing on smartphone addiction and insomnia among adolescent boys will provide a new insight into the extent to which we all experiencing a technological world we are living in. Objectives: This study aims on the efficacy of cognitive behaviour therapy in managing smartphone addiction and insomnia among adolescent boys. Methods: It consists of four major parts. First, screening process was out of 150 adolescent boys, 58 were screened using smartphone addiction scale by Kwon et al, 2012, and the Insomnia Inventory by London Sleep Center, 2004. The second part dealt with the various techniques involving CBT to manage their smartphone usage and improve quality of sleep. Third part deals with the after CBT therapeutic techniques, the datas was collected. The final step included the follow-up session, wherein all 58 adolescent boys were taken the reassessment test on smartphone addiction and insomnia. Results: The results revealed that adolescent boys who have undergone cbt program experience a reduced level of smartphone usage and improved sleep quality, thus reducing the symptoms of insomnia. Therefore, CBT was found to be effective in managing smartphone addiction and insomnia among adolescent boys.
... British and American scholars have found that mindfulness can alleviate students' depressive symptoms (Kuyken et al., 2013) and relieve stress (Wall, 2005) to a certain extent. Moreover, East-Asian scholars report that mindfulness improves students' concentration and performance in memory and other cognitive tasks (Ching et al., 2015;Lam, 2016). Likewise, scholars in mainland China have found that mindfulness training can improve middle school students' self-control (Changyu and Xiao, 2016), help relieve exam phobia, and prevent mental wandering (Shanshan and Zhun, 2018). ...
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Research has shown that mindfulness can reduce students' negative emotions associated with high-stakes tests and thereby improve test performance. This study explored the association between mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) and high-risk math test scores of middle school students, which is noticeably slim in the domain of mathematics education, through a mediating process involving math-specific test anxiety and math self-efficacy. Using data from a sample of 45 students, age 12-13, we found empirical support for a significant positive correlation between mindfulness and middle school students' math achievement. Participants listened to a mindfulness audio every other week before a mathematics test. Weekly mathematics test scores, student group discussion data, and in-depth interview data were analyzed to explore how mindfulness affected students' mathematics test performance, which showed a statistically significant improvement after mindfulness compared to mathematics achievement without the intervention. Our results indicate that mindfulness can relieve mathematics anxiety symptoms, including physiological manifestations, test-unrelated thinking and worries, and problem-solving obstacles caused by mathematics anxiety. Also, mindfulness, especially its non-judgmental attitude, positively affects students' mathematical self-efficacy. The current research provides evidence of the mindfulness intervention's efficacy for improving middle school mathematics test performance but also identifies the complexities of implementing it with large numbers of students.
... Vipassana sees things as they are in the real sense where one begins self-observation of the natural breath to concentrate the mind and purify it aiming for the highest spiritual goal of full enlightenment (Goenka, 2001). It decreases dysfunctional beliefs and ruminative thinking leading to creative performance (Ching & Chen, 2015;Newton, 2015;Xiaoqian, 2014). This can increase personal performance, increase personal qualities, and improve learning performance in the teaching and learning process. ...
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A desk review was done to analyze the relevance of Vipassana with the overall dimensions of health and to find out its interconnection with the school curriculum for enhancing the education sector and shifting the paradigm. Secondary data were collected via an internet online portal and analyzed by making a theme. Literature shows that Vipassana has a tremendous positive impact on human health dimensions like physical, mental, social, psychological, and spiritual health. Vipassana with its moral code and precepts is found to help in fostering peaceful feelings, equanimity, and compassion, thus assisting social integrity. Relying on this fact, there is a great possibility of interconnecting Vipassana with the school curriculum. No review has been found on social well-being and spiritual health in a collaborative form which could be a future recommendation.
... Knowing that the two main components of mindfulness are orientation to experience and self-regulation of attention (Bishop et al., 2004;Lutz et al., 2008), attentional abilities are considered to play a central role in MM (Bishop et al., 2004;Malinowski, 2013). They have also been repeatedly shown to improve with MM practice, both in the general population (e.g., Moore and Malinowski, 2009) and in students (Ching et al., 2015), even after a short intervention (e.g., Zeidan et al., 2010;Norris et al., 2018). These attentional benefits were also observed with online MM practice (Spadaro and Hunker, 2016;Walsh et al., 2019). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to worldwide restrictive measures, raising concerns about mental health in young adults who were not particularly vulnerable to the virus itself. This study investigated the impact of these restrictions on mental and cognitive health of university students, and tested the efficacy of a brief online mindfulness meditation intervention in countering psychological distress and improving attentional abilities. Ninety-six university students forced into remote learning due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and with no experience in meditation were randomly assigned to either a passive control group (n = 48) or to an experimental group (n = 48) following daily, for 17 days, an online mindfulness intervention (10–20 min per day). Due to drop-out, 38 participants in each group were finally analyzed. Pre- and post-tests assessed participants’ mental health (psychological well-being, depression, anxiety, stress) and attentional abilities. The analysis of baseline data in comparison with normative scores and pre-pandemic statistics confirmed the expected psychological distress, but it did not reveal any attentional deficits in our participants. Pre-post change scores analyses showed a reduction in stress (p = 0.006, ηp2 = 0.10), anxiety (p = 0.002, ηp2 = 0.13), and depression (p = 0.025, ηp2 = 0.07), and an improvement in well-being (p = 0.013, ηp2 = 0.12) in the experimental group, but not in the control group. In both groups, no significant effect was found on attentional abilities. Our results confirmed the psychological vulnerability of higher education students in the midst of the remote learning period during the second COVID-19 lockdown in France, while suggesting preservation of attentional functioning. Although the tested mindfulness intervention did not enhance the attentional abilities in already good performing students, it did promote their mental health. This study offers additional evidence on the feasibility and efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions in students during psychologically straining periods, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
... Meditation has been suggested as a technique to help college students manage stress (Singh, Sharma, & Talwar, 2012), and limited evidence also indicates that meditation may contribute to CT skills, due to its ability to stimulate attentional focus (Moore & Malinowski, 2009), cognitive functioning (Waters et al., 2015), and learning effectiveness (Ching et al., 2015). Different forms of meditation, among beginners and more experienced practitioners, are documented in the literature, and Davidson and Kaszniak (2015) suggested differentiating between types of meditation is important in research. ...
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Critical thinking is an essential skill and many authors have decried the lack of critical thinking development among students and adults. Many strategies have been implemented to ameliorate the problem, but no consensus has been reached on the most effective methods. Because meditation enhances the ability to focus inward on ones' experiences and thoughts, and a key component of critical thinking is the ability to identify and evaluate one's own thinking, this study proceeded from the hypotheses that the longevity, frequency, and type of meditation may be correlated with the ability to think critically. The California Critical Thinking Skills Test-Numeracy (CCTST-N) and a survey with questions about demographics and type, longevity, and frequency of meditation were administered to 49 college students and faculty at several post-secondary institutions in the US. A significant positive correlation was found between frequency of meditation, for those who practice focused attention types of meditation, and critical thinking skills. The results may be used as the basis for further research, and as partial justification for encouraging meditation practices for those who wish to improve their critical thinking.
... While some mindfulness-based interventions have shown to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety among university students in general (Bamber & Schneider, 2016), there remains a paucity of studies that specifically focus on the efficacy of mindfulness practices among international students attending U.S. universities (Ching et al., 2015). A perusal of the literature indicates only two studies that recruited international students at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Altinyelken et al., 2020;de Bruin et al., 2015). ...
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With an increasing number of international students enrolled in U.S. higher education, they were reported to have severe mental health issues, especially during the coronavirus disease (COVID‐19) pandemic. It is critical to provide evidence‐based mental health services to help them cope with those issues and promote mental health and the overall well‐being of international students. In this article, we utilized a randomized controlled trial to pilot‐test the effectiveness of a mindfulness‐based well‐being group for international students (MBWIS) in improving participants’ overall well‐being and mental health. The results indicated that the MBWIS not only improves international students’ trait mindfulness but also increases positive mental health as well as decreases their overall psychological distress and perceived discrimination. Related findings and implications for counselors and university personnel, including how to implement MBWIS in mental health facilities, are discussed within the existing literature.
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College students are vulnerable to diverse mental health disorders. We aimed to investigate whether a meditation class would be an effective means to address students’ mental health challenges. Among the college students who registered for the meditation course, 256 participants were enrolled. The meditation course was a 15-week program incorporating mindfulness meditation and Ganhwa Seon (a traditional Buddhist meditation). A questionnaire was administered twice, on the first and last class of the course, collecting information on personal characteristics and six mental health indicators. A paired t-test was used to examine whether the meditation course conferred benefit on the mental health indicators, and logistic regression analyses were run to identify factors associated with mental health outcomes. After completing the meditation course, there were significant improvements for the adult ADHD score p < 0.01 and ego identity (p = 0.02) but not for the other outcomes. Among college students, meditation practice may have positive effects on the adult ADHD score and ego identity.
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Recovery of patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) is depended on several physical and psychological factors. Therefore, the authors aimed to examine the efficacy of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) as a mind-body intervention on quality of life and pain severity of female patients with nonspecific chronic LBP (NSCLBP). Eighty-eight patients diagnosed as NSCLBP by physician and randomly assigned to experimental (MBSR+ usual medical care) and the control group (usual medical care only). The subjects assessed in 3 times frames; before, after and 4 weeks after intervention by Mac Gil pain and standard brief quality of life scales. Data obtained from the final sample analyzed by ANCOVA using SPSS software. The findings showed MBSR was effective in reduction of pain severity and the patients who practiced 8 sessions meditation reported significantly lower pain than patients who only received usual medical care. There was a significant effect of the between subject factor group (F [1, 45] = 16.45, P < 0.001) and (F [1, 45] = 21.51, P < 0.001) for physical quality of life and (F [1, 45] = 13.80, P < 0.001) and (F [1, 45] = 25.07, P < 0.001) mental quality of life respectively. MBSR as a mind-body therapy including body scan, sitting and walking meditation was effective intervention on reduction of pain severity and improvement of physical and mental quality of life of female patients with NSCLBP.
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Premenopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer are at risk for psychological and behavioral disturbances after cancer treatment. Targeted interventions are needed to address the needs of this vulnerable group. This randomized trial provided the first evaluation of a brief, mindfulness-based intervention for younger breast cancer survivors designed to reduce stress, depression, and inflammatory activity. Women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer at or before age 50 who had completed cancer treatment were randomly assigned to a 6-week Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPS) intervention group (n = 39) or to a wait-list control group (n = 32). Participants completed questionnaires before and after the intervention to assess stress and depressive symptoms (primary outcomes) as well as physical symptoms, cancer-related distress, and positive outcomes. Blood samples were collected to examine genomic and circulating markers of inflammation. Participants also completed questionnaires at a 3-month follow-up assessment. In linear mixed models, the MAPS intervention led to significant reductions in perceived stress (P = .004) and marginal reductions in depressive symptoms (P = .094), as well as significant reductions in proinflammatory gene expression (P = .009) and inflammatory signaling (P = .001) at postintervention. Improvements in secondary outcomes included reduced fatigue, sleep disturbance, and vasomotor symptoms and increased peace and meaning and positive affect (P < .05 for all). Intervention effects on psychological and behavioral measures were not maintained at the 3-month follow-up assessment, although reductions in cancer-related distress were observed at that assessment. A brief, mindfulness-based intervention demonstrated preliminary short-term efficacy in reducing stress, behavioral symptoms, and proinflammatory signaling in younger breast cancer survivors. Cancer 2014. © 2014 American Cancer Society. © 2014 American Cancer Society.
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The purpose of this article is to review some of the psychological and neural mechanisms behind mindfulness practice in order to explore the unique factors that account for its positive impact on emotional regulation and health. After reviewing the psychological and neural mechanisms of mindfulness and its effects on clinical populations we will consider how the practice of mindfulness contributes to the regulation of emotions. We argue that it is through the contribution of mindfulness to emotional regulation that mindfulness has achieved effective outcomes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and other psychopathologies. We will consider the unique factors that mindfulness meditation brings to the process of emotion regulation that may account for its effectiveness. Here we review experimental evidence that points towards the unique effects of mindfulness specifically operating via an experiential process of intimate detachment over and above the regulatory effects of cognitive reappraisal mechanisms. A neuroanatomical circuit accounting for the process of mindful detachment that leads to mindful emotion regulation is also suggested. This paper thereby aims to contribute to proposed models of mindfulness for research and theory building by proposing a specific model for the unique psychological and neural processes involved in mindful detachment that account for the effects of mindfulness over and above the effects accounted for by other well-established emotional regulation processes such as cognitive reappraisal.
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Mindfulness meditation (MM) is a stress-reduction technique that may have real biological effects on hemodynamics, but has never previously been tested in chronic kidney disease (CKD). In addition, the mechanisms underlying the potential BP-lowering effects of MM are unknown. We sought to determine if MM acutely lowers BP in CKD patients, and if these hemodynamic changes are mediated by a reduction in sympathetic nerve activity. In 15 hypertensive African-American (AA) males with CKD, we conducted a randomized, crossover study in which participants underwent 14 minutes of MM, or 14 minutes of BP education (control intervention) during 2 separate random-order study visits. Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), beat-to-beat arterial BP, heart rate (HR), and respiratory rate (RR) were continuously measured at baseline, and during each intervention. A subset had a third study visit to undergo controlled breathing (CB), to determine if a reduction in RR alone was sufficient in exacting hemodynamic changes. We observed a significantly greater reduction in systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, HR, as well as MSNA, during MM compared to the control intervention. Participants had a significantly lower RR during MM; however, in contrast to MM, CB alone did not reduce BP, HR, or MSNA. MM acutely lowers BP and HR in AA males with hypertensive CKD, and these hemodynamic effects may be mediated by a reduction in sympathetic nerve activity. RR is significantly lower during MM, but CB alone without concomitant meditation does not acutely alter hemodynamics or sympathetic activity in CKD.
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Resilience, mindfulness, and academic self-efficacy are topics of interests to psychologists; however, little is known about the relationships among the three. The primary purpose of this research was to explore the role of mindfulness and academic self-efficacy in predicting resilience among university students. 141 participants (m = 39, f = 102) completed The Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory, The Beliefs in Educational Success Test, and The Connor Davidson Resilience Scale. The results found that in the regression models, mindfulness and academic self-efficacy were significant predictors of resilience. This finding suggests that mindfulness and academic self-efficacy have a significant impact on resilience.
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a stressful condition; depression, anxiety, pain and fatigue are all common problems. Mindfulness based interventions (MBIs) mitigate stress and prevent relapse in depression and are increasingly being used in healthcare. However, there are currently no systematic reviews of MBIs in people with MS. This review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of MBIs in people with MS. Systematic searches were carried out in seven major databases, using both subject headings and key words. Papers were screened, data extracted, quality appraised, and analysed by two reviewers independently, using predefined criteria. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias tool. Perceived stress was the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes include mental health, physical health, quality of life, and health service utilisation. Statistical meta-analysis was not possible. Disagreements were adjudicated by a third party reviewer. Three studies (n = 183 participants) were included in the final analysis. The studies were undertaken in Wales (n = 16, randomised controlled trial - (RCT)), Switzerland (n = 150, RCT), and the United States (n = 17, controlled trial). 146 (80%) participants were female; mean age (SD) was 48.6 (9.4) years. Relapsing remitting MS was the main diagnostic category (n = 123, 67%); 43 (26%) had secondary progressive disease; and the remainder were unspecified. MBIs lasted 6-8 weeks; attrition rates were variable (5-43%); all employed pre- post- measures; two had longer follow up; one at 3, and one at 6 months. Socio-economic status of participants was not made explicit; health service utilisation and costs were not reported. No study reported on perceived stress. All studies reported quality of life (QOL), mental health (anxiety and depression), physical (fatigue, standing balance, pain), and psychosocial measures. Statistically significant beneficial effects relating to QOL, mental health, and selected physical health measures were sustained at 3- and 6- month follow up. From the limited data available, MBIs may benefit some MS patients in terms of QOL, mental health, and some physical health measures. Further studies are needed to clarify how MBIs might best serve the MS population.
Study objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic insomnia. Design: Three-arm, single-site, randomized controlled trial. Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Fifty-four adults with chronic insomnia. Interventions: Participants were randomized to either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI), or an eight-week self-monitoring (SM) condition. Measurements and results: Patient-reported outcome measures were total wake time (TWT) from sleep diaries, the pre-sleep arousal scale (PSAS), measuring a prominent waking correlate of insomnia, and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) to determine remission and response as clinical endpoints. Objective sleep measures were derived from laboratory polysomnography and wrist actigraphy. Linear mixed models showed that those receiving a meditation-based intervention (MBSR or MBTI) had significantly greater reductions on TWT minutes (43.75 vs 1.09), PSAS (7.13 vs 0.16), and ISI (4.56 vs 0.06) from baseline-to-post compared to SM. Post hoc analyses revealed that each intervention was superior to SM on each of the patient-reported measures, but no significant differences were found when comparing MBSR to MBTI from baseline-to-post. From baseline to 6-month follow-up, MBTI had greater reductions in ISI scores than MBSR (P < 0.05), with the largest difference occurring at the 3-month follow-up. Remission and response rates in MBTI and MBSR were sustained from post-treatment through follow-up, with MBTI showing the highest rates of treatment remission (50%) and response (78.6%) at the 6-month follow-up. Conclusions: Mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia. Trial registration: Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Insomnia:, identifier: NCT00768781.
Poor executive function (EF) has been associated with a host of short- and long-term problems across the lifespan, including elevated rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, drug abuse, and antisocial behavior. Mindfulness-based interventions that focus on increasing awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, and actions have been shown to improve specific aspects of EF, including attention, cognitive control, and emotion regulation. Reflecting a developmental neuroscience perspective, this article reviews research relevant to one specific mindfulness-based intervention, integrative body-mind training (IBMT). Randomized controlled trials of IBMT indicate improvements in specific EF components, and uniquely highlight the role of neural circuitry specific to the anterior cingulate cortex and the autonomic nervous system as two brain-based mechanisms that underlie IBMT-related improvements. The relevance of improving specific dimensions of EF through short-term IBMT to prevent a cascade of risk behaviors for children and adolescents is described and future research directions are proposed.