Mindfulness mediation and gender effects on anxiety and self-efficacy
Several factors influence college students’ academic performance. College counselors’ top three concerns are anxiety, depression, and stress among student clients (LeViness et al., 2018). Saleh et al. (2017) found that life satisfaction, self-esteem, optimism, self-efficacy, and psychological distress were the most important contributors to stress among students. This study will examine if participating in a coloring activity increases academic self-efficacy, and decreases academic stress and anxiety more than the mindful-based breathing exercise among undergraduates.
Students attended an experimental session during which they completed an informed consent form, pretest measures of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Marteau, Theresa, Bekker, & Hilary, 1992), General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE; Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995), and Academic Stress and Self-Efficacy Scale (ASF; Zajacova, Lynch, & Espenshade, 2005; Zagumny, McPeak, and Burton, 2014). Participants then completed one of three activities, including either a mandala sheet, recorded mindfulness breathing activity, or a true control treatment. Following the activity, participants completed posttest measures in addition to a demographics questionnaire and debriefing form.
The preliminary results indicate that the average age of the participants (8 males & 15 females) was 20.95 (SD = 2.17). The mindfulness activities had similar effects on state anxiety, academic stress, and academic self-efficacy. Interestingly, state anxiety was reduced in males more than in females for both coloring and breathing exercise [F (1, 16) = 4.52, MSE = .05, p = .049]. A larger sample size could provide significant results for other comparisons.