Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Psychological and Brain Sciences

Degree Program

Clinical Psychology, PhD

Committee Chair

Sephton, Sandra E.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Salmon, Paul

Committee Member

Salmon, Paul

Committee Member

DeCaro, Marci

Committee Member

Cash, Elizabeth

Committee Member

Mitchell, Amanda

Author's Keywords

dispositional mindfulness; college; anxiety; roommates; dyads


For many young adults, the college experience is stressful and the adjustment to college life can present many unique challenges. Up to one-half of undergraduates report anxiety, with prevalence rates that appear to be on the rise. Social transitions, such as living with a roommate, can also present challenges. The current study explored dispositional mindfulness, a capacity for attending to present-moment experiences, as a potential ameliorative factor of anxiety and roommate satisfaction. Dyadic associations of dispositional mindfulness were also explored among roommate dyads. Fifty undergraduate roommate dyads (N=100) provided self-report measures of demographics, dispositional mindfulness, anxiety, and three facets of roommate satisfaction (trust, communication, alienation). Simple regression analyses tested hypothesized relationships. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses adjusted for theoretical and empirically-derived controls in tests of hypothesized relationships. Results revealed that dispositional mindfulness was negatively associated with anxiety, which persisted after adjustment of control variables. Dispositional mindfulness was positively associated with perceived quality of communication with roommate, a finding that did not persist after adjustment of control variables. Findings provide strong support for mindfulness as a possible ameliorative factor of college anxiety. The current study also provides preliminary evidence for the association of mindfulness with regard to the quality of communication between members of a dyad. This novel finding among undergraduate roommates highlights the importance of exploring the possible benefits of mindfulness in the context of relationships. Implementation of mindfulness-based interventions on college campuses may help mitigate the negative effects of the college transition on anxiety and roommate satisfaction toward optimal academic and psychosocial functioning.