The efficacy of mindfulness-based intervention in ameliorating externalizing behaviors and attentional concerns among college students
The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a mindfulness-based intervention among college students with externalizing behaviors and attentional problems. Three students attending their first year in college received the mindfulness intervention, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and data were collected pre-intervention (baseline), during the intervention, post-intervention, and follow-up (maintenance) as part of this study. The study utilized a single case design across the four phases. Baseline, post-intervention, and maintenance data were collected by administering the Conners Continuous Performance Test, Third Edition (CPT-3), the Conners Continous Auditory Test of Attention (CATA), the Behavioral Assessment Scale for Children, Flex Monitor, Third Edition (BASC-3 FM), and the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Additionally, each participant completed the BASC-3 FM eight times during the course of the intervention across four weeks. Primary analyses of the data included a visual analysis of level, variability, trend, immediacy, and latency as well as statistical analysis using two non-parametric techniques (i.e., NAP and Tau-U). Analysis of clinical and nominally significant changes on the BASC-3 FM and the MAAS were also conducted by analyzing standard error of the difference and reliable change index.
The results of this study strongly suggest that mindfulness may be an effective intervention for addressing externalizing behaviors and attentional problems among first year college students. Improvements in externalizing behaviors were reported for all three participants. Improvements in attentional problems were reported among the participants who reported attentional problems at baseline. These findings demonstrate that psychologists can effectively use mindfulness as an intervention when working with students who report externalizing behaviors and attentional problems.