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Discuss about the Impact Of Mindfulness On Coping Behavior.

The study involved a sample of 478 undergraduate students with mindfulness levels compared with those with little-perceived stress from Western Sydney University.

 Mindfulness is one of the most crucial parts of human behavior. It influences perceived stress, coping styles and treatment results for drug reduction strategies (Astin, 2012). The specific objective is determining whether mindfulness improves coping styles and if stress causes the relationship between mindfulness and coping behavior. Therefore, this study focused at determines the impact of mindfulness on coping behavior.

It is evident from other researches that tertiary lifestyle is the most stressful. Majority of students are affected by increased stress levels due to difficulty in balancing between personal life and academic performance, family life, and career duties. Many students experience negative impacts on social and academic functioning due to anxiety and stress. Stress is one of the factors affecting students' performance in school (not completing work, dropouts), spiritual and emotional, professional, substance use and physical health (anxiety, depression, headaches, suicidal cases and hopelessness in life) of a person (Baer, 2003). Mindfulness refers to a psychological process to bring the attention of one's experiences that occurs and is developed well through training and meditation. It shows the relationship between current situations, new happenings, views and more knowledge and skills to achieve goals. Further, inconsistencies were found from other studies investigating stress coping, mindfulness and drug use among students were translated. The question is how students deal with these stresses that impact them negatively. 


Historically, the area of psychology emphasized on negative outcomes, but currently, the positive psychology department focuses on the positive emotions, i.e., virtues and human strength. Positive emotions consist of individualization, being well and self-actualization (Maslow theory) (Bishop, 2002). All these make a person to reach his/her goals as well as find purpose and meaning in life.  Hope refers to desire and expectation that something will happen.It motivates a person to work towards achieving an objective. It is one of the positive emotions to coping and goal achievement towards happiness, health, and perseverance. Emotions are a social urge or move to act and display behaviors. When one enjoys a hobby, a feeling of physical activity may not arise one experience feelings and thoughts of joy or happiness instead. Positive emotions broaden one's thoughts, exploration, action, attention, and creativity. In a study by Boey, (2002) identified cognitive benefits from positive urges which were creative thinking and grasp and understanding of ideas and concepts which enhance memory. This forms the basis of on the importance of memory in school for academic excellence.

Positive Psychology and Coping

A study by (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) on mindfulness meditation has a positive impact on mindfulness skills, self-compassion and trait anxiety on non-clinical students. A study by (Palmer & Rodger) examined the impact of mindfulness meditation on hope, negative and positive impacts and anxiety on college. Coping styles and cognitive styles were also examined. One control group had no mediation, one group with mediation on the attention of mindfulness another one on meditation on kindness and loving aspect and the last group on both the two groups above. The group filled measures including negative and positive affect scale, anxiety inventory and state hope scale. The results showed that long mediation influences hope, reduce negative effects and reduce anxiety among students.

This study is crucial because it shows that mindfulness meditation leads to anxiety and negative affect reduction, increase positive effect and hope.

The current study will focus on the impact of mindfulness on coping behavior, and In addition, the study aims at determining whether mindfulness improves effective coping styles and if stress causes the relationship between mindfulness and coping behavior. The independent variable from our study is stress induction while our dependent variable is constructive coping behavior from COPE inventory. It was hypothesized that mindfulness and high stress leads to more constructive coping behavior outcome that is contrary to the expectations of the study (Field, 2009).

Participants

A total of 478 undergraduate students from Western Sydney University participated in the study to examine the impact of mindfulness on coping behavior.

Trait mindfulness was measured using the 15-item Mindful attention and awareness scale. Sample items included "I find it difficult to stay focused on what's happening in the present" and "I rush through activities without really being attentive to them." Participants were asked to rate each item on a five-point Likert scale (1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree). A higher score indicates lower trait mindfulness.

General perceived stress was measured with the 10-item version of the perceived stress scale. Sample items included "in the last month, how often have you felt confident about your ability to handle your problems" and "in the last month, how often have you been upset because something happened unexpectedly." Participants were asked to rate each item on a five-point Likert scale (1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree). A higher score indicates higher perceived stress in the last month.

Coping behavior was measured post-test using the COPE inventory from which approach and avoidance coping scales were derived. Only scores from the approach coping subscale were used in the final analysis because they focus on the adaptive coping behaviors. Approach coping comprised measures of acceptance, active coping, positive reinterpretation, and growth which comprising of four items.

Impact of Mindfulness on Coping Behavior

Participants were tested in their psychology: behavioral science tutorial in weeks two and three. At the end of week two, participants were instructed to complete some different pretest items that included mindful attention and awareness scale, general perceived stress and cognitive diffusion scales. In week three, participants completed the manipulation of stress in which students were asked about their challenge or weakness in a hypothetical interview question.

Following the manipulation of stress, tutorial groups were given some different inductions. These inductions included a mindfulness condition, relaxation condition, and a control condition. The mindfulness induction involved participants either doing an acceptance meditation, a leaves on the stream meditation or mindful raising eating activity in which meditation participants were invited to touch, smell, feel and deliberately taste the raisin. The relaxation condition involved tensing and relaxing the various muscle groups of the body using a progressive muscle relaxation script. In the control condition, participants were reminded to allow their thoughts to wander. All inductions were recorded by an appropriately qualified psychologist to ensure consistency across the conditions. The self-affirmation written task was excluded from the analysis.

A maze-solving task was then given to participants a filler task. To measure adaptive coping behaviors, participants were then instructed to complete the COPE inventory.

We first examined the baseline measures of trait mindfulness and general perceived stress in the last month on the three conditions of mindfulness, relaxation and the control (across the stress and no stress condition). No significant differences between the three conditions on trait mindfulness were found.

A 3*2 (a type of induction*stress) between groups ANOVA was performed on scores from the approach coping style of the brief COPE inventory. Initial analysis of the data found no missing data and assumptions of normality and homogeneity were satisfactory. The induction by stress interaction was non-significant, F (2,217) =0.44, P=647. The main effect of induction was not significant F (2,217) =0.35, P=56. Descriptive statistics are given in table 1.

Table 1

Mean approach coping scores for type of induction by stress

No stress

Stress

Total

Type of induction

m

SD

m

SD

m

SD

meditation

11.15

2.41

11.26

2.76

11.21

2.6

relaxation

11.64

2.26

10.95

2.65

11.35

2.44

Control

11.18

1.81

11.09

2.81

11.14

2.34

total

11.28

2.26

11.16

2.72

11.22

2.50

The study aimed at examining the impact of mindfulness on coping behavior as well as determining whether mindfulness improves constructive coping styles and if stress causes the relationship between mindfulness and coping behavior. The independent variable from our study is stress induction while our dependent variable is constructive coping behavior from COPE inventory. It was hypothesized that mindfulness and high stress leads to more constructive coping behavior outcome contrary to what was expected from the study (Hahn, 2010).

Method

From the present study, it was evident that there were No significant variations between the conditions on mindfulness trait. By stress induction, the major impact of induction showed no significant change. This is perceived in the total score of all participants from COPE inventory with approach coping strategies. Mindfulness is important in human life since it influences positive thought and wandering among students and perceived stress, kind of coping styles and treatment results for drug reduction strategies (Kabat, 1990).

The results suggest how mindfulness meditation could improve coping behavior when a student is more stressful. From the previous studies, it was shown that mindfulness results in stress reduction thus an inverse relationship between perceived stress and mindfulness on students. When situations are perceived to be stressful, students who are unmindful develop avoidance behaviors to manage and avoid stress. This will only reduce stress within a short period. The current results are not consistent with other studies where coping behavior was consistent with perceived stress (Marcus, 2001). The results from the second hypothesis showed an increased mindfulness accompanied by the type of induction and coping strategies. This relates to the study of (Palmer & Rodger) which shows the relationship between coping styles and mindfulness. Results from this study determined that detached coping as one of the adaptive coping styles was seen to relate with avoidant coping yet no correlation was identified negatively. Future research may discover the relationship between mindfulness and detached coping using FFMQ.

The current study encountered several challenges:

The sample size of participants was not generalized to represent other students.  Participants were university students; therefore, results cannot represent other populations who have various causes of stress. The second limitation is the level of mindfulness intervention.  Mindfulness intervention facilitated positive emotions rather than coping styles that are long term. Research using MBSP in schools may have several long-term benefits (Shapirio, Carlson, & Astin, 2006). The last challenge was incentive to participant incentive.  Even though participants were given class credit, some participated actively while others refused or were not serious.  Therefore, for further study, increase the incentives when choosing a sample to encourage positive participation.  Also, put more effort in mindfulness intervention to enable gauge the impact of mindfulness on coping behavior styles. The researcher would either pay the time of participants or choose participants who are willing to learn new coping strategies to be motivated to take part (T.N, 2015).

Participants

Conclusion

In conclusion, the purpose of the research was to determine the impact of mindfulness on coping behavior on university students. The aim was to investigate how stress affects mindfulness and if mindfulness causes coping behavior that may lead to negative effects on their lives. The results from the current study showed no consistency with other study work.  From the present study, it was evident that there were No significant variations between the conditions on mindfulness trait. By stress induction, the major impact of induction showed no significant change. Higher mindfulness participants indicated maladaptive coping and reduced perceived stress. Higher mindfulness predicted that an individual drink small amount of alcohol, non-smoker or ex-smoker (Windle & Windle, 1996). Further, inconsistencies were found from other studies investigating stress coping, mindfulness and drug use among students were translated. This paper reviewed the literature on mindfulness coping and relationships with stress and drug use. It is evident that mindfulness meditation and MBT (mindfulness-based treatments) aims at reducing psychological and physical. Also, there is empathy, positive affect, increase maladaptive coping strategies. MBP (mindful based programs) and  Mindfulness meditation should be available for those who want to reduce anxiety levels, substance use, stress and increase self-regulation option for those wishing to reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve self-regulation and coping strategies (Hahn, 2010).

References

Adlaf, E., Demers, A., & Gliksman, L. (2005). Canadian campus survey. Canada: Eds.

Astin, J. (2012). Stress-reduction through mindfulness meditation. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Toronto.

Baer, R. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: a conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology and Scientific Practice,.

Bishop, S. (2002). What do we really know about mindfulness-based stress reduction? Psychosomatic Medicine,.

Boey, K. (2002). Development of the college stress scale. Journal of Applied Psychology.

Field, A. (2009). Discovering Statistics using SPSS. London: SAGE publications. London: SAGE.

Hahn, T. (2010). The miracle of mindfulness: An introduction to the practice of Induction.

Kabat, Z. J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. New York: Dell Publishing.

Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer.

Marcus, M. (2001). Mindfulness based meditation in a therapeutic community. Journal of Substance Use,.

Palmer, A., & Rodger. (n.d.). Mindfulness, stress and coping among university students. Canadian Journal of Counselling.

Shapirio, S., Carlson, L., & Astin, J. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology,.

Windle, M., & Windle, R. (1996). problems and with academic functionig Coping strategies, drinking motives and stressful life events among middle adolescents: associations with emotional and behavioural problems and with academic functioning. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

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