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The Impact of Meditation Practice on Depression, General Distress, Self-Esteem, and Mindfulness Among Thai College Students

25 July 2008


Meditation is an intervention proven to be rich with its depth of application, with more recent studies focusing on emotional disorders. The current literature purports that meditation can have several mediating effects in regards to emotional problems, including: decreased depression levels, decreased general distress, and higher levels of self-esteem. In addition, several recent scales have been constructed to measure levels of mindfulness, with increased meditation yielding higher levels. While meditation has been studied extensively in the West, little investigation exists within a Thai population. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the influence of meditation on various emotional problems as well as levels of mindfulness. The literature on the above variables was reviewed to support the claim for meditation's effectiveness. The specific hypotheses tested were that self-reported meditation practice would be related to decreased levels of depression, decreased levels of general distress, increased levels of self-esteem, and increased levels of mindfulness. Results revealed only one expected difference between meditators and non-meditators: a sub scale on a mindfulness measure (observe). Post hoc tests were also conducted witl1in the sample of meditators, with two significant correlations found: the amount of time spent meditating per day was associated with two factors on one of the mindfulness measures, acting with awareness and accepting without judgment. Possible factors contributing to and implications of these results are discussed.


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