"Staying in the present moment is important": Examining the impact of a short-term classroom-based mindfulness intervention among first-year students

J Am Coll Health. 2023 Jan 3;1-10. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2022.2155057. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To determine the impact of four classroom-based sessions on mindfulness and symptoms of psychological distress among first-year students. A secondary objective was to explore participants' involvement experiences. Participants: First-year undergraduate students at a Canadian university were recruited. Methods: A mixed-methods pre-experimental design with repeated measures was used. The mindfulness intervention involved four, 15-minute sessions delivered by a counselor from the university's Student Health and Wellness center. Results: A significant positive change to participants' mindfulness scores from pre- to post-intervention was observed. Qualitatively, themes relating to intervention benefits, challenges, and logistics emerged. Conclusions: Collectively, results supported the utility of this brief mindfulness intervention delivered to first-year students. Participants were appreciative of the techniques learned and the "in-class" delivery format. Given the pressures faced by post-secondary students, collaborating with student wellness centers in this way may represent a novel and efficient approach for attenuating health risks while promoting their personal wellness.

Keywords: brief intervention; first-year students; mindfulness; psychological distress; university classroom.