Optimizing a Daily Mindfulness Intervention to Reduce Stress from Discrimination among Sexual and Gender Minorities of Color – UROP Summer Symposium 2021

Optimizing a Daily Mindfulness Intervention to Reduce Stress from Discrimination among Sexual and Gender Minorities of Color

Olivia Jayakar

Olivia Jayakar

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

UROP Fellowship: WAGSFP
Research Mentor(s): Stephanie Cook, PhD
Research Mentor Institution/Department: New York University, Departments of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Biostatistics

Presentation Date: Wednesday, August 4th
Session: Session 2 (4pm-4:50pm EDT)
Breakout Room: Room 3
Presenter: 1

Event Link


This multiphase optimization study evaluate the effectiveness of different components of a mindfulness-based intervention to reduce stress from discrimination among sexual and gender minorities of color. Researchers have found that sexual and gender minorities of color are discriminated against based on race and/or sexual orientation status and/or gender. Further reserachers have found that this intersectional discrimination is associated with increased health dispartiteis among SGM of color compared to White SGM and non-SGM. Mindfulness-based intervention have been shown to reduce stress from discrimination and promote positive mental health. However, it is unclear which components of mindfulness based interventions are most effective in reducing stress from discrimination. In the current examination, we aim to assess different combinations of mindfulness based interventions to assess which one is most effective at reducing stress among SGM of color. This optimization study employs an 8-arm factorial experimental design to determine the most effective combination of meditation based mindfulness intervention components focused on themes of awareness, connection, and purpose. Awareness is mindfulness and the regulation of attention which allows individuals to focus on reappraising stressful events. Connection is appreciation, kindness, and compassion. Purpose is having clear values and a sense that one’s life and pursuits are meaningful. Participants are recruited through a variety of community based and online LGBT serving organizations in the New York city metropolitan area. Screening for eligibility occurs in REDCap where participants will also complete Computer-Assisted Self-Interviews. The HealthyMinds Program application allows participants to complete 5 days of meditation exercises that take about 5-15 minutes per day. Participants are also expected to complete 15-minutes daily diary surveys each night after completing their mediations. At the end of the five days each participant completes a follow-up survey and a 15 minute debrief interview. Linear regression and linear mixed modeling analyses will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention components. We hypothesize that mindfulness interventions do reduce stress in sexual and gender minorities of color.

Authors: Olivia Jayakar, Maddie Peskin, Nicholas Mirin, MPH, Laila Gad, Maxline Delorme, Michelle Bandel, BA, Brianna Clarke, BS, Erika Wood, PhD Candidate, Stephanie Cook, PhD
Research Method: Survey Research

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