Library Dissertation Showcase

Impacts on executive functioning, anxiety, and trait mindfulness following an eight­ week mindfulness course in university students

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2023

The current study assessed how partaking in an eight-week mindfulness-based living course (MBLC) impacted working memory, response inhibition and set-shifting in a non­clinical university student population. As executive functions support lifespan development, it would be valuable to understand whether the sustainable practise the MBLC teaches improves them. Similarly, it would be advantageous to understand whether the MBLC lowers anxiety, as previous mindfulness literature demonstrates that mindfulness practise can positively impact anxiety. The secondary aims were to assess how the course impacted anxiety and trait mindfulness. Secondary data was taken from a randomised controlled study. As part of the testing procedure, participants completed a cognitive battery comprised of four executive function tasks and questionnaires that measured anxiety and trait mindfulness. Then, participants were assigned to either an eight-week MBLC or an eight ­week active control. Post-course, the measures were repeated. Data from two cohorts (N = 38) were analysed with two-way repeated measures ANOVAs which showed that the MBLC and active control significantly improved their executive functioning at the post-course measurement point. However, there were no changes in anxiety or trait mindfulness. The findings suggest that an eight-week MBLC can improve executive functioning, but care should be taken when interpreting these findings, as the active control condition also exhibited improvements. The reasons for these findings are discussed, and suggestions for future research are outlined.

PLEASE NOTE: You must be a member of the University of Lincoln to be able to view this dissertation. Please log in here.