An Analogue Study of Loving-Kindness Meditation as a Buffer against Social Stress

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/145398
Title:
An Analogue Study of Loving-Kindness Meditation as a Buffer against Social Stress
Author:
Law, Wing Man Rita
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) has the potential to improve intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning. This unique quality of LKM makes it a desirable candidate for buffering the stress of being social evaluated or socially excluded. Using the Trier Social Stress Test and the Cyberball social exclusion paradigm, the present study investigated the effectiveness of a brief LKM session in buffering against social evaluative and social exclusion stress. Three specific questions were addressed: In what domains can LKM exert positive effects? For whom does it work? And, how does it work? One hundred and thirteen participants (N = 113, 49 men) were randomly assigned to either a 10-minute LKM session or a 10-minute visualization control session. Findings showed that even just 10 minutes of LKM had an immediate relaxing effect as evidenced by increased respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an index of parasympathetic cardiac control, and decreased respiration rate. In addition, the brief LKM intervention led to greater implicit positivity towards the self relative to the control intervention (p = .052). The brief LKM intervention also protected against some of the negative physiological and psychological effects of social stress. The majority of these effects are moderated by trait social anxiety and pre-meditation mood states (or pre-meditation mood state alone). Contrary to expectation, trait social anxiety alone did not moderate any of the LKM effects. Importantly, receiving a brief session of LKM while not being in a positive mood or being in a negative mood led to iatrogenic physiological and psychological effects. Providing an explanation for one of LKM's effects, findings showed that change in RSA during LKM fully mediated the LKM Intervention x Positive Affect interaction effect on change in post-social-stress RSA. In conclusion, findings of the present study have extended our understanding of LKM and have specific implications for future research and practice.
Type:
Electronic Dissertation; text
Keywords:
affect; loving-kindness meditation; mediated moderation; respiratory sinus arrhythmia; social anxiety; social stress
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Psychology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Sbarra, David A.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleAn Analogue Study of Loving-Kindness Meditation as a Buffer against Social Stressen_US
dc.creatorLaw, Wing Man Ritaen_US
dc.contributor.authorLaw, Wing Man Ritaen_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractLoving-kindness meditation (LKM) has the potential to improve intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning. This unique quality of LKM makes it a desirable candidate for buffering the stress of being social evaluated or socially excluded. Using the Trier Social Stress Test and the Cyberball social exclusion paradigm, the present study investigated the effectiveness of a brief LKM session in buffering against social evaluative and social exclusion stress. Three specific questions were addressed: In what domains can LKM exert positive effects? For whom does it work? And, how does it work? One hundred and thirteen participants (N = 113, 49 men) were randomly assigned to either a 10-minute LKM session or a 10-minute visualization control session. Findings showed that even just 10 minutes of LKM had an immediate relaxing effect as evidenced by increased respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an index of parasympathetic cardiac control, and decreased respiration rate. In addition, the brief LKM intervention led to greater implicit positivity towards the self relative to the control intervention (p = .052). The brief LKM intervention also protected against some of the negative physiological and psychological effects of social stress. The majority of these effects are moderated by trait social anxiety and pre-meditation mood states (or pre-meditation mood state alone). Contrary to expectation, trait social anxiety alone did not moderate any of the LKM effects. Importantly, receiving a brief session of LKM while not being in a positive mood or being in a negative mood led to iatrogenic physiological and psychological effects. Providing an explanation for one of LKM's effects, findings showed that change in RSA during LKM fully mediated the LKM Intervention x Positive Affect interaction effect on change in post-social-stress RSA. In conclusion, findings of the present study have extended our understanding of LKM and have specific implications for future research and practice.en_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.subjectaffecten_US
dc.subjectloving-kindness meditationen_US
dc.subjectmediated moderationen_US
dc.subjectrespiratory sinus arrhythmiaen_US
dc.subjectsocial anxietyen_US
dc.subjectsocial stressen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSbarra, David A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberShoham, Vardaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBootzin, Richard R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGreenberg, Jeffen_US
dc.identifier.proquest11455-
dc.identifier.oclc752261325-
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