Graduation Semester and Year

2016

Language

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jeffrey R Gagne

Abstract

The ability to self-regulate is critical for healthy development and life success. Recent evidence from the field of contemplative science suggests that mindfulness may enhance self-regulation among children and adolescents. It is unclear whether beneficial effects are only realized when practiced over time or if changes can occur within short time frames. This research adds to the growing literature on mindfulness and self-control by testing whether brief mindfulness practice produces changes in self-control compared to similarly restful states. The current study also explored mechanisms by which practicing mindfulness may impact self-control, specifically focusing on positive affect and arousal. A between-subjects, pre-post intervention design was used to test whether engaging in mindfulness practice, compared to mind-wandering and silent reading, produced positive changes in child affect, arousal, and self-control. Results revealed no direct impact of mindfulness on self-regulation, but children reported lower arousal as a result of mindfulness practice. Additionally, the relationship between arousal and self-control was significant only within the mindfulness condition, in which self-control was highest for those with average levels of arousal. Findings are discussed, new hypotheses are offered, and suggestions for future research are presented.

Keywords

Child development, Mindfulness, Self-control, Mind-wandering, Affect, Arousal

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons

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