Event Title

The Impact of Generalized Anxiety Disorder on Academic Performance in Undergraduate Students Following a Brief Guided Meditation

Poster Number

004

Faculty Mentor

Courtney Guenther, Ph.D

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Biology

Location

Rutledge Building

Start Date

12-4-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

Many undergraduate college students report high levels of anxiety, which can negatively impact their academic performance. Meditation is currently being explored as a method to reduce anxiety, with the duration and frequency under investigation to optimize outcomes. Therefore, this pilot study examined whether the severity of generalized anxiety disorder affected the influence of a brief, one-time, guided meditation on undergraduate academic performance. This study also investigated student perceptions of meditation and test anxiety. Students completed the GAD-7 to assess levels of anxiety, participated in a brief meditation, completed a lab quiz, and evaluated their meditation experiences through a post-survey. We hypothesized that students with high GAD scores would perform similarly to those with low GAD scores on a quiz following a brief meditation. We also hypothesized that students with a more positive view of meditation would score higher on the quiz compared to those who did not find the meditation to be helpful. There was no significant difference in quiz scores based on anxiety level. Students who reported that the meditation reduced test anxiety and students who reported that they do not experience test anxiety tended to score better on the lab quiz. Even though there was not a statistically significant correlation between lab quiz scores and GAD-7 scores, there does appear to be a strong trend: as GAD-7 scores increase (higher anxiety), lab quiz scores decrease. This pilot study provides the foundation for future research exploring brief meditation on test anxiety in undergraduate students.

Previously Presented/Performed?

SAEOPP McNair/SSS Scholars Research Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, June 2018

Grant Support?

Supported by a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education

Comments

Ali Maclay is a McNair Scholar.

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Apr 12th, 12:00 PM Apr 15th, 2:00 PM

The Impact of Generalized Anxiety Disorder on Academic Performance in Undergraduate Students Following a Brief Guided Meditation

Rutledge Building

Many undergraduate college students report high levels of anxiety, which can negatively impact their academic performance. Meditation is currently being explored as a method to reduce anxiety, with the duration and frequency under investigation to optimize outcomes. Therefore, this pilot study examined whether the severity of generalized anxiety disorder affected the influence of a brief, one-time, guided meditation on undergraduate academic performance. This study also investigated student perceptions of meditation and test anxiety. Students completed the GAD-7 to assess levels of anxiety, participated in a brief meditation, completed a lab quiz, and evaluated their meditation experiences through a post-survey. We hypothesized that students with high GAD scores would perform similarly to those with low GAD scores on a quiz following a brief meditation. We also hypothesized that students with a more positive view of meditation would score higher on the quiz compared to those who did not find the meditation to be helpful. There was no significant difference in quiz scores based on anxiety level. Students who reported that the meditation reduced test anxiety and students who reported that they do not experience test anxiety tended to score better on the lab quiz. Even though there was not a statistically significant correlation between lab quiz scores and GAD-7 scores, there does appear to be a strong trend: as GAD-7 scores increase (higher anxiety), lab quiz scores decrease. This pilot study provides the foundation for future research exploring brief meditation on test anxiety in undergraduate students.