Date of Award

2019

Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Carlin Miller

Keywords

Internet therapy, mindfulness, mindfulness-based interventions

Rights

info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

The aim of this dissertation was to assess the impacts of a novel Internet-delivered mindfulness-based intervention (ID-MBI) for emotional distress and emotion regulation in a university sample in three related studies. The first study assessed participants’ engagement with the intervention by self-reported compliance and a novel computer-timed measure of compliance (i.e., time spent using guided mindfulness exercises). The second study examined the impact of personality factors and compliance on the effectiveness of the intervention. The third study assessed the impact of the intervention on emotion regulation, emotional distress, perceived stress, and mindfulness, and identified potential mechanisms of change. This study implemented a randomized waitlist control design, with participants assigned to either the four-week ID-MBI group or a four-week waitlist group (N = 84). Participants completed baseline and follow-up assessments in person. Results of the first study demonstrated an excellent degree of reliability between self-reported retrospective and daily report of time spent practicing mindfulness (ICC = .729, F(36, 36) = 6.639, p < .001) and a fair degree of reliability between the retrospective and the objective computer-timed compliance measure (ICC = .407, F(36,36)= 2.49, p =.004). A multiple regression analysis using group membership, personality factors, and preintervention mindfulness was conducted to assess the factors that predict postintervention mindfulness. The model was statistically significant, F(4,66) = 25.587, p < .001, with group membership (B = -7.977, SE = 2.754, t = -2.897, p = .005), neuroticism (B = -0.604, SE = .279, t = -2.168, p = 0.034), and preintervention mindfulness (B = 0.505, SE = .110, t = 4.611, p <.001) significantly predicting postintervention mindfulness. Finally, a series of 2 (group) x 2 (time) ANOVAs demonstrated that compared to the waitlist group, the intervention group showed significant improvements on emotion regulation (F(1, 36) = 29.082, p < .001, partial η2 = .447), reductions in perceived stress (F(1, 36) = 6.805, p = .013, partial η2 = .159), and reductions in negative affect (F(1, 36) = 10.748, p = .002, partial η2 = .230). Of note, both groups reported higher levels of mindfulness at postintervention; however, the effect size was larger for the mindfulness group (F(1, 36) = 24.875, p < .001, partial η2 = .409). No changes were seen for emotional distress. Overall, the results of the study suggest that a brief Internet-delivered MBI may be effective in higher education settings for improving general well-being in students.

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