Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Committee Chairperson

Geeta Shivde, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Angela T. Clarke, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jodi B. A. McKibben, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sandra Kerr, Ph.D.


College students are a vulnerable population to developing mental health problems. Without adequate emotion regulation abilities and adaptive coping skills to manage stress, college students are at risk of experiencing negative mental and physical health outcomes. Mindfulness has been shown to improve mental and physical health. Unfortunately, many mindfulness interventions are developed with the needs of adults in mind. Some features of common mindfulness programs, such as cost and required length of daily practice, make the interventions difficult for most college students to access. The present study investigated the effects of a six-week mindfulness intervention (Learning to BREATHE) that was initially designed for adolescents and later adapted for emerging adults on emotion regulation and perceived stress in college students. Self-report measures of difficulties in emotion regulation and perceived stress were analyzed to assess improvements from before to after the intervention in a group of introductory psychology students who participated in weekly in-person mindfulness training. These results were compared to a control group who received information about mindfulness, but no direct mindfulness training. Interactions between group and time, as well as main effects of group and time were explored. Results demonstrated significant decreases in scores on the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation (DERS) total and DERS Strategy subscales. Our results suggest that the Learning to Breath intervention can be helpful in reducing overall emotion regulation difficulties and increasing coping strategies in college students. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.