A Mindfulness Practice for Communication Sciences and Disorders Undergraduate and Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Students: Effects on Stress, Self-Compassion, and Perfectionism Purpose The purpose of the present study was to explore the effects of a mindfulness practice on participants' levels of self-compassion, perfectionism, attention, and perceived and biological stress. Method This was a between-groups design. Experimental participants engaged in a short mindfulness practice weekly for one academic semester; control ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 15, 2017
A Mindfulness Practice for Communication Sciences and Disorders Undergraduate and Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Students: Effects on Stress, Self-Compassion, and Perfectionism
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ann R. Beck
    Illinois State University, Normal
  • Heidi Verticchio
    Illinois State University, Normal
  • Scott Seeman
    Illinois State University, Normal
  • Emma Milliken
    Illinois State University, Normal
  • Heidi Schaab
    Illinois State University, Normal
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Ann R. Beck: arbeck@ilstu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Daniel Kempler
    Associate Editor: Daniel Kempler×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Professional Issues & Training / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 15, 2017
A Mindfulness Practice for Communication Sciences and Disorders Undergraduate and Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Students: Effects on Stress, Self-Compassion, and Perfectionism
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 893-907. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0172
History: Received October 5, 2016 , Revised January 30, 2017 , Accepted March 15, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 893-907. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0172
History: Received October 5, 2016; Revised January 30, 2017; Accepted March 15, 2017

Purpose The purpose of the present study was to explore the effects of a mindfulness practice on participants' levels of self-compassion, perfectionism, attention, and perceived and biological stress.

Method This was a between-groups design. Experimental participants engaged in a short mindfulness practice weekly for one academic semester; control participants did not. All participants completed three self-report scales measuring perceived stress, self-compassion, and perfectionism before and after mindfulness sessions. In addition, electrophysiological measures were taken before and after to determine changes in biological markers of stress and attention. Experimental participants also kept reflective journals that were analyzed qualitatively.

Results Compared with control participants, by the end of the semester, experimental participants' perceived stress levels and potentially negative aspects of perfectionism decreased and biological markers of stress and self-compassion improved. Experimental participants' reflective writings indicated they perceived the sessions to be beneficial. Although the results are promising, no significant effect was found for attention.

Conclusions Engaging in a 20-min mindfulness practice using simple yoga posture and breath work across an academic semester appears to be effective in reducing students' perceived and biological stress levels and maladaptive aspects of perfectionism and in increasing their self-compassion. These are all factors that can improve students' overall well-being.

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