Research Mentor(s): Stephanie Cook, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Departments of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Biostatistics, New York University’s College of Global Public Health
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 4 (2pm-2:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 3
Sexual and gender minorities of color face a disproportionate amount of stress from microaggressions, discrimination in the workplace and in the social world, and other sources on a daily basis as a result of their identity. This study will ask sexual and gender minorities of color to participate in a week of mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is a practice designed to have positive effects on an individual’s mental health by focusing on “the four pillars of the science of training the mind”: awareness, connection, insight, and purpose. This study will be administered remotely through the mobile application Healthy Minds Program. It will ask participants to take a survey to measure stress at the beginning of the study, act out guided meditation exercises, and a final survey at the end of the study. This study will randomize which guided meditation exercises a participant will receive in order to determine which ones have the greatest positive effect on their stress levels. In addition, participants will log nightly diary entries detailing their daily activities and how meditation impacted their mood throughout the study. This project will then compile and measure the difference in stress levels before and after the meditation exercises to see whether mindfulness will significantly reduce participants’ stress levels. We expect that these mindfulness sessions will reduce their stress levels because we believe that purposeful reflection will especially help participants manage how they view their stressors, which are often beyond their control.