Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John Paul Legerski


Mindfulness has been associated with various benefits, including enhanced attention, improved recall, and increased emotional well-being. Previous research has suggested that a brief mindfulness exercise can enhance recall of novel words in female college students. Participants in the current study were 82 students (41 female, M = 14.6, SD = 1.2) from a rural, Midwestern secondary school. Participants were randomly assigned to listen to a 20-minute body scan exercise or a control lecture before learning English-Swahili word pairs. Results revealed no significant effect of group on immediate or delayed recall of word pairs. Additionally, there was no significant effect of group on state mindfulness, positive emotions, negative emotions, or distress. However, student self-report scores on measures of trait mindfulness positively correlated with GPA, sleep, and state mindfulness, and negatively correlated with subjective distress, negative emotions, depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and inattention. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.