Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Psychology) Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr David Ryder

Second Advisor

Dr Mary Flaherty

Abstract

Adaptive coping and self-regulation are critical for students' academic and professional development. Mindfulness meditation and mindfulness based programs present a promising option for those wishing to reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve self-regulation and coping strategies and or reduce the need for substance use. This paper sought to review the literature concerning the relationship mindfulness has with stress, coping styles and substance use in student populations. Proposed models and mechanisms of mindfulness are initially considered and reperceiving is identified as a prime mechanism through which mindfulness operates. Studies concerning stress reduction in student populations through mindfulness based programs are considered and a theoretical account of how mindfulness is believed to reduce stress and anxiety is provided. Mindfulness and its association with different coping strategies and styles is considered and it was found higher mindfulness predicts the use of more adaptive, approach coping and less avoidant and emotional coping. Further, mindfulness was found to assist with students wishing to reduce their alcohol and or tobacco use. These findings, along with the myriad of other physical and psychological health benefits present mindfulness as an effective way for students to alleviate stress, improve coping styles and reduce substance use.

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