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An investigation into the effects of a short-term mindfulness intervention on stress and emotion regulation in undergraduate students: Understanding mechanisms of action

Armstrong, Lauren (2012) An investigation into the effects of a short-term mindfulness intervention on stress and emotion regulation in undergraduate students: Understanding mechanisms of action. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Stress and poor emotion regulation (ER) strategies are two factors that negatively influence the psychological well-being of students. Mindfulness has been shown to enhance stress and ER in a student population; however the mechanisms by which it exerts its positive effects remain unclear. Thirty-four undergraduate students were randomly assigned to either a mindfulness condition or an active control condition to investigate whether a short-term mindfulness intervention would improve trait mindfulness, stress and ER over a four week period. Despite experiencing no significant changes in stress, the mindfulness condition experienced significant increases in trait mindfulness and significant decreases in difficulties in ER from pre-post intervention. No significant changes in any of the variables were found for the control condition. ER was also found to mediate between mindfulness and stress in the final week, suggesting that ER is one mechanism of action by which mindfulness improves well-being. The current study therefore offers promising theoretical directions, however the efficacy of short-term interventions needs further delineation.

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