Mindfulness is Related to the Well-Being of First Year College Students
By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.
“Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events,” – Abby Fortin
In the modern world education is a key for success. Where a high school education was sufficient in previous generations, a college degree is now required to succeed in the new knowledge-based economies. There is a lot of pressure on university students to excel so that they can get the best jobs after graduation. This stress might in fact be counterproductive as the increased pressure can actually lead to stress and anxiety which can impede the student’s physical and mental health, well-being, and school performance.
Contemplative practices including meditation, mindfulness training, and yoga practice have been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress. Indeed, these practices have been found to reduce stress and improve psychological health in college students. But these techniques have been primarily tested with western populations and may not be sensitive to the unique situations, cultures, and education levels of diverse populations. Hence, there is a need to investigate the relationships of mindfulness to psychological health with diverse populations. There are indications that mindfulness therapies may be effective in diverse populations. But there is a need for further investigation with different populations.
In today’s Research News article “Relationship Between Dispositional Mindfulness and Living Condition and the Well-Being of First-Year University Students in Japan.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02831/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1191386_69_Psycho_20191224_arts_A), Irie and colleagues had first year Japanese college students complete questionnaires measuring mindfulness, well-being, living conditions and daily stressors. These data were then subjected to hierarchical multivariate regression analysis.
They found that the greater the number of daily life stressors, the lower the well-being of the first-year college students and the higher the levels of mindfulness the greater the well-being of the students. In addition, they found that for students low in mindfulness, living alone decreased well-being. But for students high in mindfulness, living alone had no effect on well-being.
It has been well established with multiple groups that mindfulness improves well-being. The present findings suggest that mindfulness is positively related to well-being in first-year Japanese college students. This further expands the generalizability of the mindfulness-well-being relationship. In addition, the results suggest that mindfulness may protect the students from the deleterious effects of living alone, away from home, on the difficult psychological adjustments occurring during the transition to college. It is for future research to establish if mindfulness training may help students in their adjustment to college life.
So, mindfulness is related to the well-being of first year college students.
“mindfulness training can improve the mental health of university students. The finding is important as recent evidence suggests university students are more likely to develop mental health problems when compared with the general population.” – Rick Nauert
CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies
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Irie T and Yokomitsu K (2019) Relationship Between Dispositional Mindfulness and Living Condition and the Well-Being of First-Year University Students in Japan. Front. Psychol. 10:2831. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02831
The present study was conducted to examine how dispositional mindfulness and living conditions are related to well-being among first-year university students in Japan. Participants were 262 Japanese first-year students (156 females and 106 males; Mage = 18.77 years, SDage = 0.85). Dispositional mindfulness was measured using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), and living condition was operationalized as living at home or living alone after having left their home. Hierarchical multivariate regression analysis was used to analyze whether the factors of living condition and dispositional mindfulness had predictive effects on well-being. The results showed that dispositional mindfulness positively correlated with well-being in first-year university students; however, living condition had no significant correlation. On the other hand, the interaction between living condition and dispositional mindfulness significantly correlated with well-being. Simple slope analysis revealed that higher levels of dispositional mindfulness had a protective effect in the relationship between living condition and well-being. These results suggest that an intervention to promote dispositional mindfulness could be effective in protecting the well-being of first-year university students, especially for those who have left their home and are living alone. Further research will be necessary to examine, longitudinally, how mental health changes depending on the level of dispositional mindfulness of first-year university students.