Associate Professor of Psychology Jamie Bodenlos, along with Aubreyanne Mayrsohn ’15, Marleah Noonan ’12 and Stephanie Wells ’10, recently published an article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, focusing on the relationship between trait mindfulness and health in college students.
Trait mindfulness, Bodenlos explains, is “like a personality characteristic,” a propensity for a person to behave in a given manner, or a disposition that predicts behavior and emotional states. In psychology, mindfulness is typically explored through its five facets: observing, describing, acting with awareness, non-judging of inner experience, and non-reactivity to inner experience.
The study, “Facets of Dispositional Mindfulness and Health Among College Students,” involved 310 Hobart and William Smith student participants who completed self-report measures on physical and mental health. The results suggest that the observation facet is negatively associated with physical health; both acting with awareness and non-judging facets are positively associated with emotional well-being; and the non-judging facet is significantly positive for social functioning.
“I was very interested to see to what extent facets of mindfulness played a role in the lives of the HWS student body,” says Mayrsohn, who is currently pursuing a Psy.D. at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. “I would hope that after reading our study, the community might be more mindful of mindfulness. Being a part of current research that could have an impact on our HWS community was pretty exciting.”
From the results of this study, the authors concluded that the facets of mindfulness could be used to more carefully tailor mindfulness-based interventions to benefit young adults.
This work will feed into several other projects, “including a study examining what role mindfulness plays in the use of technology and health,” says Bodenlos, who is also examining how well males are represented in mindfulness clinical trials in collaboration with Assistant Professor of Psychology Brien Ashdown.
Bodenlos earned her B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh, M.A. from Western Carolina University, and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University. Before joining the HWS faculty in 2009, she completed a post-doctoral research fellowship and then served as an instructor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Department of Medicine, in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine. A licensed New York State psychologist, Bodenlos has received various grants and awards for her research on obesity and obesity-related behaviors and diseases, among other topics. She has presented her work at national and international conferences and has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Appetite, Obesity, and the Journal of American College Health.
Noonan earned a B.A. in psychology summa cum laude, with minors in child advocacy and cognition, logic and language. As a student, she worked for Alumni House, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Dr. Stephen L. Cohen ’67 Prize in Psychology. Noonan also participated in the study abroad program in India. She is currently enrolled in a master’s program in counseling psychology at Boston College.
Wells graduated with a B.A. in psychology magna cum laude, with double minors in child advocacy and public policy. As a student, she was involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Hugs Across America and was an Admissions student intern. She earned the Engaged Student Scholar Award and the President’s Civic Leadership Award. Since graduation, she has been working as a research technician at Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD and is working on a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at San Diego State University-California State University.