Research: YANG and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 188

Abstract

YANG and COLLEAGUES,  Cardinal Tien College of Healthcare and Management, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC. yang@ctcn.edu.tw examineD the effects of meditation on the physical and mental health of junior college students.

Background

Physical stress and mental stress are increasingly common phenomena in our rapidly changing and stressful modern society. Research has found meditation to produce positive and demonstrable stress reduction effects on brain and immune functions. This study is grounded in traditional Chinese philosophical mores that teach a process summarized by the keynote activities of "calm, still, quiet, consider, and get" and the potential of this process to reduce stress in adolescents. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of meditation on the physical and mental health of junior college students.

Methodology

This research employed a quasi-experimental design. Participants included 242 freshmen from a junior college in Taiwan selected using a convenience sampling technique. Participants were then randomly separated into experimental (n = 119) and control (n = 123) groups. The project duration was 18 weeks, during which the experimental group received 2 hours of meditation treatment per week, for a total of 36 hours. Both groups completed pretest and posttest Life Adaptation Scale forms, which included questionnaires addressing information on physical and mental distress and positive and negative coping strategies. Data were analyzed using analysis of covariance.

Results

Findings showed that the effect of the experiment treatment was significant when student physical and mental distress pretest scores were controlled. Physical and mental symptoms in the experimental group were lower than those in the control group.

Conclusion

Meditation can help students to adapt to life stressors. This study also provides support for traditional Chinese wisdom, which promotes meditation as one way to improve health.

References

Yang KP, Su WM and Huang CK.  The effect of meditation on physical and mental health in junior college students: a quasi-experimental study. Journal of Nursing Research17(4): 261-9. Dec 2009.

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