Keywords: Serenity, passion, tranquil, acceptance, conscientiousness

Introduction to Mindfulness

Mindfulness, the ability to be actively aware of your surroundings, feelings, or behaviors, is a growing area of interest for researchers across many professions.  Training for mindfulness, such as meditation, has been frequently used in healthcare and counseling settings.  Many see mindfulness as a way to regulate stress levels, become more conscientious, and develop emotional stability.  Mindfulness meditation has been used as a way for people to better understand their bodies and thought processes.  College students are often addled with stressful workloads, and may turn to negative behaviors rather than those focused on internal development.  Student affairs professionals are frequently tasked with supporting students’ in their mental health needs and providing awareness for alternative coping methods. 


When Would You Measure Mindfulness?

Student affairs professionals may want to measure mindfulness if their goal is to gauge:

  • What students attended to and reflected on during events/programs
  • Conscientiousness as a covariate when assessing overall mental/physical health stability
  • Whether students can relate their behaviors or actions to their well-being
  • Student understanding of how their emotions regulate their decision-making processes

 

Literature

Those wanting to measure mindfulness may find it helpful to start their research by reviewing similar evidence-based literature:

Measuring mindfulness- the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (Walach, Buchheld, Buttenmuller, Kleinknecht, Schmidt, 2006)

  • This article provides an analysis of the validity and reliability of a scale used to measure mindfulness in participants.

 

The Benefits of Dispositional Mindfulness in Physical Health: A Longitudinal Study of Female College Students (Murphy, Mermelstein, Edwards, & Gidycz, 2012)

  • The authors provide their results of a longitudinal study following female college students, and their changing health (e.g. sleep, exercise, and dietary patterns) in relation to mindfulness training.

 

Mindfulness and Alcohol Problems in College Students: The Mediating Effects of Stress (Bodenlos, Noonan, & Wells, 2013)

  • The researchers utilize multiple scales to better understand the relationship between stress, alcohol consumption, and mindfulness. The results suggest that professionals dealing with students who have alcohol related problems should target not only stress, but provide mindfulness as a mediating support.

 

Frequently Used Instruments/Measures

The following instruments/measures have been used to assess mindfulness:

  • Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale
  • Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale
  • Frieburg Mindfulness Inventory

 

Don’t Think This Construct Matches Your Assessment Goals? Check Out These Related Constructs: Wellness, Grit

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