A randomized controlled trial of Koru: a mindfulness program for college students and other emerging adults

J Am Coll Health. 2014;62(4):222-33. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2014.887571.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of Koru, a mindfulness training program for college students and other emerging adults.

Participants: Ninety students (66% female, 62% white, 71% graduate students) participated between Fall 2012 and Spring 2013.

Methods: Randomized controlled trial. It was hypothesized that Koru, compared with a wait-list control group, would reduce perceived stress and sleep problems, and increase mindfulness, self-compassion, and gratitude.

Results: As hypothesized, results showed significant Group (Koru, Wait-List)×Time (Pre, Post) interactions for improvements in perceived stress (F[1, 76.40]=4.50, p=.037, d=.45), sleep problems (F [1, 79.49]=4.71, p=.033, d=.52), mindfulness (F [1, 79.09]=26.80, p<.001, d=95), and self-compassion (F[1, 74.77]=18.08, p<.001, d=.75). All significant effects were replicated in the wait-list group. Significant correlations were observed among changes in perceived stress, sleep problems, mindfulness, and self-compassion.

Conclusions: Results support the effectiveness of the Koru program for emerging adults in the university setting.

Keywords: college health; emerging adulthood; meditation; mindfulness; stress management.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Meditation / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness / education*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Student Health Services / methods
  • Students / psychology*
  • Young Adult