A brief mindfulness intervention reduces depression, increases nonjudgment, and speeds processing of emotional and neutral stimuliMental Health & Prevention (2019)
Anxiety and mood disorders are common in university students but most students are not receiving treatment. The university setting presents a unique opportunity to provide interventions for at-risk students who may not otherwise seek services. Mindfulness interventions have been successfully adapted for use with individuals reporting symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other forms of psychological distress. The present quasi-experimental study addressed whether non-treatment-seeking university students screened for moderate-to-high levels of distress would benefit from a brief mindfulness intervention relative to a control group. Participants completed self-report measures of depression, anxiety, distress, and mindfulness as well as a dot-probe measure of processing of emotional and neutral information before and after a mindfulness or no-intervention control group. As expected, anhedonic depression symptoms and judging of experiences decreased in the mindfulness but not control group. Also consistent with prediction, the mindfulness group showed reaction time evidence of “even-handed” facilitated processing of all stimuli (pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant) within a dot-probe task from pre- to post-intervention. Psychological distress, anxious arousal, and worry decreased, and several facets of self-reported mindfulness increased in both groups. Results indicate that a brief mindfulness intervention may be helpful for non-treatment-seeking university students in decreasing anhedonic depression symptoms, judgment of experiences, and encouraging facilitated processing of emotional and neutral information. Implications for using brief mindfulness interventions in early intervention and prevention efforts with university students are discussed.
- University students
Citation InformationSarah Sass, L. M. Early, L. Long, A. Burke, et al.. "A brief mindfulness intervention reduces depression, increases nonjudgment, and speeds processing of emotional and neutral stimuli" Mental Health & Prevention Vol. 13 (2019) p. 58 - 67
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sarah-sass/2/