Date of Conferral







John Astin


College students are faced with stressors which can negatively impact memory function, thereby, negatively affecting academic performance. This study used a field experiment design to investigate the effects of brief mindfulness on levels of distress and memory functioning between first-year community college students engaging in a brief mindfulness intervention (n = 29) and a control group (n = 28) by using ANCOVA, MANOVA, correlations, and descriptive statistics. Research questions examined whether a brief mindfulness intervention lowered levels of distress in a treatment group. Second, the study examined whether the intervention of brief mindfulness in a treatment group improved memory function. Finally, the findings of this study answered if changes in levels of distress mediated the effects of exposure to mindfulness on memory function. Using the Brief Symptom Inventory, changes pre to postintervention levels of distress were examined. Distress levels decreased in treatment and control groups following 15 minutes of relaxation (MBSR and unstructured). Differences in memory function were examined using the WMS-IV. Positive correlations between the ability to recall visual and verbal materials on a delay in both groups were found. The findings of this study contributed to positive social change by emphasizing the high levels of distress community college students experience. These findings support the importance of implementing brief stress reduction opportunities in a classroom setting, whether structured stress reduction, such as mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), or unstructured relaxation-time, as a supportive measure to encourage healthy coping skills in handling stress, thereby improving memory and the projection of improving physical and mental well-being, as well as, educational outcomes.