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A Mindfulness Practice for Communication Sciences and Disorders Undergraduate and Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Students: Effects on Stress, Self-Compassion, and Perfectionism
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2017
Pages: 893 - 907
Source ID: shanti-sources-83826
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to explore the effects of a mindfulness practice on participants' levels of self-compassion, perfectionism, attention, and perceived and biological stress.Method: This was a between-groups design. Experimental participants engaged in a short mindfulness practice weekly for one academic semester; control participants did not. All participants completed three self-report scales measuring perceived stress, self-compassion, and perfectionism before and after mindfulness sessions. In addition, electrophysiological measures were taken before and after to determine changes in biological markers of stress and attention. Experimental participants also kept reflective journals that were analyzed qualitatively. Results: Compared with control participants, by the end of the semester, experimental participants' perceived stress levels and potentially negative aspects of perfectionism decreased and biological markers of stress and self-compassion improved. Experimental participants' reflective writings indicated they perceived the sessions to be beneficial. Although the results are promising, no significant effect was found for attention. Conclusions: Engaging in a 20-min mindfulness practice using simple yoga posture and breath work across an academic semester appears to be effective in reducing students' perceived and biological stress levels and maladaptive aspects of perfectionism and in increasing their self-compassion. These are all factors that can improve students' overall well-being.