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Background and Context

Question:

Discuss about the Stress Management Courses in Community Sample.

Mindfulness is said to enhance self-regulation in presence of threatening or stressful experiences according to various literatures. In contemporary research in psychology there has been tremendous investigations related to impact of mindfulness for being a psychological construct for multiple clinical as well as behavioral interventions (Josefsson, 2014). Multiple studies have been progressed in order to analyse the impacts of mindfulness with that of stress by various researchers. Findings from all relevant studies reflects a positive relation of stress with that of mindfulness for coping with response. There are multiple theories as well that have been derived for enhancing studies relative to mindfulness to increase capacity of individuals for experiencing feelings as stress. The scope of this report analyses effects of mindfulness on coping behaviour amongst students of Western Sydney University. A group of participants were selected, who were exposed to a variety of situations of diversified feelings then results were taken down and analysed to understand their relation with mindfulness indicators (Alsubaie, 2017). Analysis of results from the study have been discussed in detail in this report identifying the pertinent factors that are conducive to its study. The aim of this study examines impact of stress on mindfulness causing behaviour patterns amongst students, which also forms underlying hypothesis. There is a literature gap in this study as it does not incorporate other exhibitors of mindfulness and incorporates behavioral patterns as only parameter to depict effects of stress.   

A total of 478 undergraduate students from Western Sydney University participated in a study investigating the effects of mindfulness on coping behaviour.

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 been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly” and “In the last month, how often have you felt confident about your ability to handle your personal problems”. 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.

Methodology

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 adaptive coping behaviours. Approach coping comprised measures of acceptance, positive reinterpretation and growth, and active coping, each comprising of four items.

Participants were tested in their Psychology: Behavioural Science tutorial in weeks two and three. At the end of week two participants were instructed to complete a number of pretest items that included Mindful Attention and Awareness Scale, General perceived stress, and cognitive defusion 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 a number of different inductions. These inductions included a mindfulness condition, a relaxation condition, and a control condition. The mindfulness induction involved participants either doing an acceptance meditation, a leaves on the stream meditation, or a mindful raising eating activity in which participants were invited to touch, smell, feel, and taste the raisin in a deliberate way. 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 as a filler task. In order to measure adaptive coping behaviours, 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 x 2 (type of induction x 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) = 0.05, p = .95. The main effect of stress was not significant F(2, 217) = 0.35, p = .56. Descriptive statistics are given in Table 1.

Results and Findings

No Stress

Stress

Total

Type of Induction

M

SD

M

SD

M

SD

Meditation

11.15

2.41

11.26

2.76

11.21

2.60

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

For the purpose of progressing on this study and conducting subsequent analysis of the same, the scholar has adopted first hand data collection. Primary data collection procedure has been adopted with explorative study methodology (Tapper, 2009). This procedure allows to explore various theories and concepts of psychology with that of mindfulness. The scholar has explored multiple theories and concepts in order to arrive at background for developing the study technique. Then following which inductive reasoning has been adopted which allows for drawing conclusions from theories and subsequent concepts connecting mindfulness with various behavioral patterns.


The scholar has further adopted quantitative analysis with collection of such data for arriving at results for the study. Then subsequently statistical techniques and procedures were adopted for analysing the data collected from 478 total participants for the study (Weinstein, 2009). The scholar has adopted ethical procedures and not adhered to any unethical means by providing details of the study to the participants prior to collecting information. There are three parameters that has been adopted for the study consisting of Trait mindfulness with Mindful Attention and Awareness Scale, General perceived stress with Received Stress Scale and coping behaviour with COPE Inventory. A cognitive scale had been adopted for the purpose of drawing data from students in hypothetical formed questions. Participants were divided into control groups and experimental groups, for experimental group had been given, Induction techniques were adopted for manipulating stress and maze solving tasks for COPE Inventory. Control condition participants were allowed to wander (Siegling, 2014). ANNOVA test was conducted on Trait Mindfulness for arriving at results for the study.  Mindfulness has several impacts on psychological health of individual students as its relation can be said to be positively related. Psychological well-being has been found to be dependent empirically as well as theoretically related to mindfulness (Raes, 2011). Drawing from the results of the data that was collected, there had been measures of mindfulness, relaxation and control on trait mindfulness (Agee, 2009). The findings from the data reflects that there were no subsequent effects of stress on mindfulness from the induction that was made. The induction made for control group as well as for experimental group where they had been exposed to situations have not been significant. This reflects that hypothesis on factors of behaviours on mindfulness can easily be rejected and the other hypothesis can be established (Nussbaum, 2008). In meditation, relaxation and control situations there have relatively no deviation on mindfulness factors which provides that with similar SD values stress and no stress situation on mindfulness almost prevailed to be similar in nature.   

Research Findings 1

Mindfulness consist of several factors as awareness, non-judgmental acceptance, anxiety, fear, suppress along with various other emotions. The hypothesis of the study has adopted that stress does impact mindfulness for exhibiting behaviours. Literature of this study examines only psychological impacts from stress on mindfulness that can exhibit behaviours amongst students. Results and findings from the study are analysed as below;

Research Findings 1: Mindfulness has been described to be a psychological trait that provides a mode of awareness. It is connected to reducing as much possible confusion and deriving meaning from all perceptions. Non-judgmental way of perceiving the present moment is a definition that represents mindfulness. In this context students from the University were provided a set of hypothetical questions, in order to test their mindfulness or attentions or awareness levels. They were provided set of situations where they had answer these questions. Then Coping with stress scores were derived from each one of them for computation which reveal low variations amongst them (Dobkin, 2017). Students had reflected almost randomly irrespective of the situations in which they were exposed to. 

Research Findings 2: Bishop et al. model proposes two components of mindfulness as self-regulation of attention and adopting of particular orientation in one’s experience. This model provides useful thoughts and concepts from where questions for students has been derived. As students are subject to number of tests and assignments of the most important questions was to reflect on ways in which they handled stress when they were unable to finish tasks. In spite of various situations, students found that this resulted often in high stress on them, when they were unable to complete a task in time. Thus, from this it can be derived and analysed that response towards stress often is connected with stress factor and not towards their mindfulness to cause behaviour patterns.


Research Findings 3: One’s orientation towards a particular incidence has been connected to behavioral patterns of mindfulness.  A student’s attitude, orientation, openness, curiosity, acceptance are some factors that are connected with mindfulness and cannot be equated against resignation or passiveness. Mindfulness needs to be cultivated for attaining goals of individuals and cannot be impacted from situations, it is a psychological course. Students when exposed to a wide variety of situations were expected to react differently in various groups (Van Vliet, 2017). While the scholar created incidents separately in for determining behavioral trends which can be distinctly identified, no such distinctions were noted. While calculating standard deviation and p results for each group, similar trends were found. Thus, mindfulness meditation that began in 1960s was determined to be an integral factor in psychological intervention. It works as a clinical method for various disposition with no significant behavioral outcomes as anxiety, cheerfulness, fear and so on. Thus, stress being connected to mindfulness as a behaviour pattern can act as a stimuli in case of meditation. Though the Mean in case of stress factor in meditation were fairly high as compared to no stress situations.

Research Findings 2

Research Findings 4: Relaxation also has been found by many researchers as having positive correlation with positive behavioral trends in mindfulness. With results done form the analysis it was found that relaxation does not impact greatly on mindfulness in stress and no stress conditions. Meaning that in this case also hypothesis can be rejected and no behavioral outcomes has been seen. Trait mindfulness is generally found to be associated with higher levels of satisfaction, consciousness, self-esteem, sense of autonomy, empathy, optimism, pleasant effect and agreeableness amongst other factors. There are other negative behavioral trends associated with mindfulness which results in difficulty in emotional regulations. Self-reported measures in the study has been totally excluded. Thus, it can be said that trait mindfulness is not impacted by control factors, relaxation and meditation variables as assigned in the study.    

Research Findings 5: The results from the study depicts no significant impacts on trait mindfulness and all results from participants has been collected by scholar himself. Trait mindfulness can act as useful determinant in psychological well-being which cannot be connected with any factors that has been identified in the study.

The study provides useful insights into factors that can be rejected while analysing or developing features that can increase mindfulness amongst students. This study in case enhanced can results in tremendous benefits in the domain of psychological sciences by rejecting these three factors for student level enhancement for trait mindfulness factors. The scope of the study is immense and can form basis for further theoretical extension.

References

Agee, J. D.-B. (2009). Comparing brief stress management courses in a community sample: mindfulness skills and. Explore: The Journal of Science and, 104-109.

Alsubaie, M. A. (2017). Mechanisms of action in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in people with physical and/or psychological conditions: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review.

Dobkin, P. L. (2017). Who experiences depressive symptoms following mindfulness-based stress reduction and why? International Journal of Whole Person Care.

Josefsson, T. L. (2014). The effects of ashort-term mindfulness based intervention on self-reported mindfulness,decentering, executive attention, psychological health, andcoping style: examining unique mindfulness effects and mediators. Mindfulness, 18-35.

Nussbaum, A. D. (2008). Defensiveness versus remediation:self-theories and modes of self-esteem maintenance. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 599-612.

Raes, F. (2011). The effect of self-compassion on the development of depression symptoms in a non-clinical sample. Mindfulness, 33-36.

Siegling, A. B. (2014). Measures of trait mindfulness:convergent validity, shared dimensionality, and linkages to the fivefactor model. Frontiers in Psychology, 1164.

Tapper, K. S. (2009). Exploratory randomised controlled trial of a mindfulnessbased weight loss intervention for women. Appetite, 396-404.

Van Vliet, K. J. (2017). Impact of a mindfulness?based stress reduction program from the perspective of adolescents with serious mental health concerns. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 16-22.

Weinstein, N. B. (2009). A multi-method examination of the effects of mindfulness on stress attribution, coping,and emotional well-being. Journal of Research in Personality, 374–385.

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[Accessed 28 February 2024].

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My Assignment Help. Essay: Mindfulness Effects On Coping Behavior Among Students At Western Sydney University. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2018 [cited 28 February 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/stress-management-courses-in-community-sample.

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