Abstract Title

Using Mindfulness Meditation to Reduce Academic Anxiety in Struggling Readers

Abstract

Mindfulness meditation is a meditation technique which has one focus his/her attention on the present moment by acknowledging and allowing one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations to pass without judgment. For the past 35 years, mindfulness has been a growing research topic in psychological literature. However, research regarding mindfulness and its ability to help children overcome their reading anxiety is sparse. In this study, I was interested in investigating the effects of a mindfulness meditation intervention on students’ reading anxiety, trait mindfulness, efficacy, and reading comprehension. I hypothesized students who received the mindfulness intervention would show significant improvement in those areas when compared to students who did not receive the intervention. To test this hypothesis, students enrolled in a five-week corrective reading intervention program took pre-assessments to measure levels of reading anxiety, efficacy, trait mindfulness, and reading comprehension. They were then randomly assigned to one of two groups—mindfulness intervention or control. The mindfulness group practiced the intervention for five weeks, while the control group only received the intervention in the fifth week. Following the intervention, post-treatment assessments were taken to measure any changes in the variables. Results indicated a main effect of time for reading anxiety. Subsequent analyses suggested that mindfulness may have influenced this main effect of time as the mindfulness group had a greater decrease in anxiety, suggesting that the intervention may have influenced the change in anxiety. This has important implications for education, as practicing mindfulness in the classroom may help struggling students succeed.

Modified Abstract

Can a mindfulness meditation intervention help struggling learners overcome anxiety caused by a deficit in reading comprehension and improve trait mindfulness, efficacy, and reading comprehension? I hypothesized a mindfulness intervention could significantly improve all these areas, thus enhancing classroom performance. In this study, participants in a five-week reading intervention program took pre-assessments to measure the above-mentioned variables. They were then randomly assigned to one of two groups—mindfulness intervention or control. The mindfulness group practiced the intervention for five weeks, while the control group only received the intervention in the fifth week. Following treatment, post-assessments were taken to measure any changes in variables. Results indicated a main effect of time for reading anxiety. Subsequent analyses suggested that mindfulness meditation may have influenced this main effect.

Research Category

Psychology

Author Information

Jessica KotikFollow

Primary Author's Major

Psychology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Christopher A. Was

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:00 PM

Research Area

Cognitive Psychology

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Apr 5th, 1:00 PM

Using Mindfulness Meditation to Reduce Academic Anxiety in Struggling Readers

Mindfulness meditation is a meditation technique which has one focus his/her attention on the present moment by acknowledging and allowing one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations to pass without judgment. For the past 35 years, mindfulness has been a growing research topic in psychological literature. However, research regarding mindfulness and its ability to help children overcome their reading anxiety is sparse. In this study, I was interested in investigating the effects of a mindfulness meditation intervention on students’ reading anxiety, trait mindfulness, efficacy, and reading comprehension. I hypothesized students who received the mindfulness intervention would show significant improvement in those areas when compared to students who did not receive the intervention. To test this hypothesis, students enrolled in a five-week corrective reading intervention program took pre-assessments to measure levels of reading anxiety, efficacy, trait mindfulness, and reading comprehension. They were then randomly assigned to one of two groups—mindfulness intervention or control. The mindfulness group practiced the intervention for five weeks, while the control group only received the intervention in the fifth week. Following the intervention, post-treatment assessments were taken to measure any changes in the variables. Results indicated a main effect of time for reading anxiety. Subsequent analyses suggested that mindfulness may have influenced this main effect of time as the mindfulness group had a greater decrease in anxiety, suggesting that the intervention may have influenced the change in anxiety. This has important implications for education, as practicing mindfulness in the classroom may help struggling students succeed.