The relationship between high anxiety and poor academic performance has been well established (Eysenck et. al., 2007; Hunsley, 1985; Staal, 2004; Ashcraft & Kirk, 2001). Mindfulness exercises have been successfully used to reduce performance anxiety and increase academic performance (Broderick & Metz, 2009; Crane, et al., 2010; Franco et al., 2010; Napoli, Krech & Holley, 2005; Shapiro, Schwartz & Bonner, 1998). Such exercises have typically been taught by experienced mindfulness facilitators using 16-40 hour courses in mindfulness that are separate from the classroom environment where the skills learned will hopefully be employed (Baer, 2003). Recent research suggests that shorter mindfulness exercises taught via audio recordings produce reductions in anxiety and increases in attention (Britt, 2011). Whether such short mindfulness exercises impact academic performance has not been studied. This study examined whether regularly engaging in a short mindfulness based exercise reduces students’ anxiety and increased their academic performance. In this study, first year college students in a college algebra class participated in a 3-minute mindfulness exercise at the beginning of each class for a period of six weeks. Anxiety and academic performance were assessed and compared to control groups who did not receive mindfulness training. Students who participated in the mindfulness exercise reported lower state anxiety levels as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Academic performance was not significantly impacted by engaging in the mindfulness exercise.
|Commitee:||O'Neill, Margarita, Scott, Jennifer|
|School:||Union Institute and University|
|Department:||Psychology Progam: Clinical Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Academic performance, Anxiety, Mindfulness|
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