The benefits of dispositional mindfulness in physical health: a longitudinal study of female college students

J Am Coll Health. 2012;60(5):341-8. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2011.629260.


Objective: This article examines the relationship between dispositional mindfulness, health behaviors (eg, sleep, eating, and exercise), and physical health.

Participants: Participants included 441 college women.

Methods: Women completed self-report surveys at the beginning and end of a 10-week academic quarter. The study was conducted over 5 academic quarters from fall 2008 to fall 2010.

Results: Findings indicated that higher levels of dispositional mindfulness were related to healthier eating practices, better quality of sleep, and better physical health. Dispositional mindfulness contributed to better physical health even after controlling for traditional health habits. Finally, bidirectional mediational relationships were found between healthy eating and dispositional mindfulness as well as between sleep quality and dispositional mindfulness when physical health was the outcome variable.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that incorporating mindfulness training into programming on college campuses may be beneficial, as results indicate that dispositional mindfulness is related to positive physical health among college students.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Holistic Health*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Report
  • Sleep
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Young Adult