This study explored the possibility that social connection is one element that can contribute to persistence in a simple meditation exercise using Beary, Benson, and Klemchuk’s relaxation response exercise with the addition of a social element. Participants were 82 females, ages 30 to 65, with English as a first language, naive (less than 2 months experience) to meditation, who were drawn from the general population. They were screened to exclude hospitalized individuals and those who have been treated for a psychological condition within the last three years. Participants were randomized to two groups. Each group received written instructions, with the control group receiving generic instructions only and the experimental group receiving the same instructions with the addition of a social element. It was expected that the group receiving instructions with a social element would show greater persistence (i.e., participate more often in the exercise and continue to use the exercise over a longer time span) at a minimum p value of .05 and with at least a small effect size. It was expected that attachment type would moderate persistence, so attachment type was measured. The persistence data were not normally distributed, so a nonparametric equivalent to a t test, a Mann-Whitney U, was used to compare the persistence means for the experimental group and the control group. No significant effect was found. The sample obtained had too few individuals by attachment type per group to permit analysis of moderating effects of attachment type.
|Advisor:||Piotrowski, Nancy A.|
|Commitee:||Kramer, Thomas H., Malpass, Diane|
|Department:||Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Social psychology, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Attachment, Meditation, Persistence, Relaxation response, Stress, Training|
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