Does participation in eight sessions of a brief mindfulness exercise effect depression, anxiety and stress scores in university students undertaking first year psychology?

Feb 15, 2024

Does participation in eight sessions of a brief mindfulness exercise effect depression, anxiety and stress scores in university students undertaking first year psychology?

Overview of tasks
Task: Lab Report
Length: No more than 1700 words in total, part A 750 words and part B another 950 words approximately.
Microsoft Word document (No PDFs)
Details of the task
Concept and Goal
The aim of this laboratory study is to investigate whether participation for eight days in a brief mindfulness
intervention alters depression, anxiety and stress levels in university students. We have collected data during two
classes, and in between you have been asked to undertake a 10 minute (brief) mindfulness exercise each day,
focussing on your breathing. You should have also collected data from one participant who has not undertaken the
mindfulness program. The collected data will be analysed and written up in the form of a laboratory report.
Background
Mindfulness describes the practise of paying non-judgemental and accepting attention to what is happening in the
present moment. Mindfulness therapies are designed to guide a person to direct their attention specifically towards
what is happening “right now”, and moving the mind back towards the present should it drift. It has its roots in
Eastern religious practises, and is often used to induce deep relaxation. This type of therapy has grown substantially
in recent times and is widely researched and used by psychologists to treat a diverse range of disorders. This picture
provides a good illustration of mindfulness (from http://www.transition.hw.ac.uk/mindfulness/).
In this research activity, we will investigate whether participation in eight sessions of a 10 minute mindfulness
exercise affects scores on a questionnaire that measures symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Outcomes will
be compared both before (at baseline) and after (post-mindfulness) students have taken part in the exercise. Baseline
student data will also be compared to results collected from a community sample who have not specifically
undertaken mindfulness (control data). This will allow us to assess whether our student cohort started the program at
levels of depression, anxiety and stress that are equal to, lower, or higher than the community sample.
Research Questions

  1. Do university students undertaking first year psychology show similar scores on a measure of depression,
    anxiety and stress compared to control participants?
  2. Does participation in eight sessions of a brief mindfulness exercise effect depression, anxiety and stress scores
    in university students undertaking first year psychology?

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