Journal of Contemplative Inquiry


Objectives: The present study examined the differences in participants’ individual psychological distress over four points in time while they received instructions on a guided mindfulness meditation practice differing in practice time between the two groups (20 minutes or 5 minutes). The study took place in an undergraduate yoga course at a large metropolitan university in the Southeastern United States. Data were collected over the four points in time during one continuous semester using the Outcome Questionnaire-45.2 (OQ-45.2) (Lambert et al., 2004; Tabet et al., 2019). Methods: The purpose of this 15-week quantitative study was to compare the differences in individual psychological distress among 74 students split into two treatment groups. The first treatment group received a 20-minute body scan based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) treatment per session. The second treatment group received a 5-minute body scan treatment per session. Results and Conclusion: Using a repeated measures ANOVA, the researchers examined how mindfulness meditation practice affected psychological distress between the 5-minute and 20-minute sessions. The results showed that as the meditation sessions progressed, the interaction of subscales of distress by mindfulness meditation sessions was not statistically significant. However, the results showed there were significant main effects for symptom distress level, F(1) = 10.34, p = 0.02; interpersonal relations, F(1) = 14.61, p < 0.01; and social role performance, F(1) = 4.33, p = 0.04, which decreased significantly. In conclusion, the main effect was statistically significant; the difference in distress is related to whether a person meditated at all. That is, meditate once and you will likely feel reduced distress of some level.