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14-02-2018 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 5/2018

Mindfulness 5/2018

Investigating Effects and Mechanisms of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention in a Sample of College Students at Risk for Social Anxiety

Mindfulness > Uitgave 5/2018
Catrinel A. Ștefan, Călin Căpraru, Melinda Szilágyi


The aims of this study were two-fold: (1) to investigate the effectiveness of a 6-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program in a sample of college students at risk for social anxiety and (2) to investigate whether emotion regulation strategies and self-compassion act as mechanisms of MBSR effectiveness. Participants in this study were predominantly female college students identified as at risk for social anxiety, who were randomly assigned to either the MBSR intervention or to the wait list control group. The final sample included 22 participants in the MBSR group and 24 in the wait list control group for whom pre-intervention and post-intervention (1 week after the MBSR intervention was finalized) data were gathered on self-report measures. The results showed that MBSR participation lead to significant reductions in social anxiety and perceived stress. Also, significant post-intervention differences in favor of the MBSR group compared to the wait list control group were found for self-compassion and acceptance, but not for positive reinterpretation. Mediation analyses employing a bootstrap procedure with 95% confidence intervals were conducted to test the potential MBSR intervention mechanisms. The results revealed that acceptance and self-compassion mediated the relationship between MBSR participation and social anxiety, as well as MBSR participation and perceived stress. The current findings indicated that mindfulness-based interventions might work by: (1) reducing self-identification with successes and failures in social and stressful situations and (2) deactivating appraisals concerning anxiety provoking situations.

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