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Past research has shown that rumination exacerbates dysphoric mood whereas distraction attenuates it. This research examined whether the practice of mindfulness meditation could reduce dysphoric mood even more effectively than distraction. A dysphoric mood was induced in 139 female and 38 male participants who were then randomly assigned to a rumination, distraction, or meditation condition. As predicted, participants instructed to meditate reported significantly lower levels of negative mood than those in either of the two other conditions. Distraction was associated with a lessening of dysphoric mood when compared to rumination but was not as effective as mindfulness meditation. The implications of these findings are discussed.
OBJECTIVE:Given the importance of developmental transitions on young adults' lives and the high rates of mental health issues among U.S. college students, first-year college students can be particularly vulnerable to stress and adversity. This pilot study evaluated the effectiveness and feasibility of mindfulness training aiming to promote first-year college students' health and wellbeing. PARTICIPANTS: 109 freshmen were recruited from residential halls (50% Caucasian, 66% female). Data collection was completed in November 2014. METHODS: A randomized control trial was conducted utilizing the Learning to BREATHE (L2B) program, a universal mindfulness program adapted to match the developmental tasks of college transition. RESULTS: Participation in the pilot intervention was associated with significant increase in students' life satisfaction, and significant decrease in depression and anxiety. Marginally significant decrease was found for sleep issues and alcohol consequences. CONCLUSIONS: Mindfulness-based programs may be an effective strategy to enhance a healthy transition into college.