Self-regulation mediates effects of adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction on anxiety among college students

E. L. Cary, D. Bergen-Cico, S. Sinegar, M. K.A. Schutt, E. C. Helminen, J. C. Felver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) reduces anxiety among undergraduate students; however, there is limited evidence demonstrating mechanistic underpinnings. Theoretical models implicate cognitive self-regulation as a mechanism. This study explored whether an adapted MBSR embedded in a college course reduced anxiety and if self-regulation mediated any intervention effects. Participants: 144 undergraduate students participated in the study; 34 completed a MBSR course and 110 served as a matched control group. Methods: Mindfulness, self-regulation, and anxiety were measured at pre-MBSR, post-MBSR, and 1-month follow-up. Results: Repeated-measure ANOVAs indicated significant effects of MBSR for self-regulation and anxiety. Longitudinal mediation models indicated significant mediation effects of self-regulation on anxiety at post-intervention and 1-month follow-up. Conclusions: MBSR can be implemented within a college course to indirectly affect anxiety mechanistically via self-regulation. Given increasing rates of anxiety in college students and reduced capacity for counseling centers to meet need, MBSR holds promise for future clinical study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of American College Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Mindfulness
  • anxiety
  • classroom
  • college
  • early adulthood
  • mediation
  • mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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