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Meditation lowers stress and supports forgiveness among college students

21 Jul

Researchers from the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley evaluated how two, 8-week, 90-min/wk training programs in meditation-based stress-management were able to affect stress, rumination, forgiveness, and hope in college undergraduates.

Subjects were randomly assigned to either (1) training in mindfulness-based stress reduction or MBSR (n = 15) or (2) Easwaran's Eight-Point Program or EPP (n = 14), or (3) a wait-list control condition (n = 15). Pretest, posttest, and 8-week follow-up data were collected on self-report outcome measures.
The authors observed no post-treatment differences between MBSR and EPP or between posttest and 8-week follow-up (p > .10). Compared with controls, treated participants (n = 29) demonstrated significant benefits for stress (p < .05) and forgiveness (p < .05) and marginal benefits for rumination (p < .10).

The study concludes that meditation-based stress-management practices reduce stress and enhance forgiveness among college undergraduates. Further studies are warranted, as these tools show promise as potential health-promotion tools for college populations.

Citation:Oman D, Shapiro SL, Thoresen CE, Plante TG, Flinders T. Meditation lowers stress and supports forgiveness among college students: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of American College Health. 2008 Mar-Apr; 56 (5): pages 569-78. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award