Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ix, 72 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Sharon Danoff-Burg

Committee Members

Drew Anderson, Mitch Earleywine


Cardiovascular Reactivity, Cardiovascular Recovery, Health Psychology, Mindfulness, Hypertension, Stress (Physiology), Stress (Psychology), Stress management, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, College students

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


Ninety-seven undergraduate students with a family history of hypertension participated in a study that evaluated the effects of a brief mindfulness-induction on cardiovascular reactivity and recovery to two stressors. Participants were randomized to either a mindfulness-induction or control condition and were then exposed to the cold pressor task (CPT) followed by the mirror-tracing task (MT). Blood pressure and heart rate were measured at baseline, post-induction, as well as during and immediately following each stressor. There were no group differences in reactivity to either stressor. Participants in the mindfulness-analog condition experienced significantly greater latency to systolic blood pressure recovery following the CPT and a tendency towards greater latency to diastolic blood pressure recovery, although these findings were not replicated with the MT task. These results are contrary to what was hypothesized and to the anecdotal evidence available regarding effects of comprehensive mindfulness interventions on reactivity. The findings are discussed with respect to purported mechanisms of mindfulness and learning theory.