Mindfulness, happiness, and anxiety in a sample of college students before and after taking a meditation course

J Am Coll Health. 2022 Feb-Mar;70(2):493-500. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2020.1754839. Epub 2020 May 5.


Objective: To explore differences in mindfulness, happiness, and perceived anxiety in a sample of college students before and after taking a meditation course.

Participants: Participants were college students at a primarily undergraduate institution enrolled in an experiential meditation class (n = 74) and a non-meditation class comparison group (n = 73).

Methods: The study design was a before-after observational study with two groups and three dependent variables: the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale, the State Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Subjective Happiness Scale.

Results: Students in the meditation course increased average subjective happiness and mindfulness attention awareness. Mindfulness scores increased and anxiety decreased more for students in the meditation class compared to students in the psychosocial class.

Conclusions: This research provides evidence that taking a semester long meditation course is associated with improvements in college student well-being.

Keywords: College stress and anxiety; college student well-being; happiness; meditation; mindfulness.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Meditation* / psychology
  • Mindfulness*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Students / psychology
  • Universities