Date of Graduation

Summer 2017


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Adena Young


mindfulness meditation, expressive writing, test anxiety, mindfulness, resilience

Subject Categories

Educational Psychology | Higher Education | School Psychology


Students encounter numerous sources of stress in college from school work to examinations. A proposed method for reducing test related anxiety is contemplative practice (namely, mindfulness meditation and expressive writing). These interventions were used immediately prior to an exam to determine effectiveness on students’ mood and test grade. Although the study produced few statistically significant results, a promising trend in utilizing these interventions for increasing exam grades, increasing positive mood, and decreasing negative mood was uncovered. Each intervention appears to have dissimilar effects on different types of students (i.e., varying degrees of dispositional mindfulness and cognitive test anxiety; for example, students high in trait mindfulness had beneficial changes after practicing the meditation, but students low in trait mindfulness responded more to the exam expressive writing intervention). However, limitations of the study (such as a small sample size) require future investigations before determining the exact effects of these practices.


© Shannon S. Hayden

Open Access