Date of Award

10-21-2009

Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Kenneth Matheny - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Heather Kleider - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Jeff S. Ashby - Committee Member

Fourth Advisor

Phillip Gagne - Committee Member

Fifth Advisor

Y. Barry Chung - Committee Member

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the usefulness of a 20-minute brief mindfulness meditation in positively affecting mood and attention. Its effects were compared with the effects from a period of distraction and a control condition. The sample consisted of 63 veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Pre-post test of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule were used to assess levels of state anxiety and mood. The Stroop Task was employed as a measure of selective attention. A one-way analysis of variance and split-plot analysis of variance were conducted. To control high comorbidity within this sample, sub-analyses were conducted excluding participants with other psychological or physical conditions. The results revealed that meditators without sleep problems indicated greater selective attention levels. A negative mood decrease was found in all participants regardless of the intervention group assignment. Implications for research and practice were discussed.

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