Effects of a Meditation and Contemplative Practice Course on College Students’ Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, and Mental Health

Document Type


Journal Title

The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry

Publication Date



Objectives: Mindfulness-based practices have been shown to be effective in reducing depression and anxiety among college students. Less is known about whether coursework incorporating contemplative practices has similar beneficial effects. This study sought to investigate the benefits of a course focusing on contemplative practices that included mindfulness-based practice inside and outside the classroom. Methods: In Study 1, 42 students enrolled in Meditation and Contemplative Practice, a course taught through the Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion, completed measures of mindfulness, self-compassion, depression, and anxiety at the beginning and end of the semester. In Study 2, 43 students in this course, and 65 students in an Introduction to World Religions course completed the same measures at the beginning and end of the semester. In Study 3, 15 students enrolled in the contemplative practices course completed a pre-test, a post-test, and a follow-up assessment six weeks later


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Publisher Statement

The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry (JOCI) is the online, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal for all who design, use, research, and assess contemplative and introspective methods and practices in post-secondary education.

The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry
© The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society