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Exploring whether mindfulness can enhance ethnic identity among undergraduate and graduate students
Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2018
Pages: 67 - 93
Source ID: shanti-sources-57161
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore whether attention, emotion, and cognitive regulation (CR) may be strategies to advance one’s ethnic identity.Design/methodology/approach The paper is presented in three parts. The first section discusses integrative inquiry (INIQ) (Bresciani Ludvik et al., 2016), a mindfulness methodology and mindful inquiry training program, as a potential pathway to help mitigate stress and enhance healthy development and well-being strategies that combat stressors related to ethnic and racial identity; and increase opportunities for positive ethnic identity development. INIQ was designed to influence areas of the brain associated with attention regulation, emotion regulation, and CR in order to decrease stress and anxiety, and heighten executive functions of undergraduate and graduate students. The second section discusses an exploratory study to see whether INIQ resulted in higher mean scores for participants on their ethnic identity, as assessed by the multigroup ethnic identity measure (Phinney, 1992). Findings The results indicated that there was a significant increase in pre-test and post-test scores for mindfulness (p=0.001) as well as the dependent measure for learning exploration (p=0.028) among 30 undergraduate, master’s- and doctoral-seeking students. There was also a non-significant increase for clear understanding (p=0.15) and overall ethnic identity achievement (p=0.387); and non-significant decrease for ethnic belonging (p=0.424). Originality/value These findings suggest that INIQ may increase students’ ethnic learning exploration, which is an important process in ethnic identity development (Phinney and Ong, 2007). This study also suggests that INIQ increases mindfulness in participants. The authors conclude with a discussion and recommendations to future INIQ and other diversity centered student support practitioners interested in influencing positive ethnic identity formation.