Authors: Aileen Pidgeon, Ashleigh Upton, Natalie Eckberg and Aidan Carlan
Abstract: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of using the Mindful Awareness Resilience Skills Training (MARST) app to promote mindfulness and the components of cognitive resilience: working memory and positive reappraisal, while reducing perceived stress in university students. The 27 University students who participated in the study completed a series of questionnaires in addition to a working memory task pre-training and post-training. After completing the pre-training measures and tasks, participants were provided with the MARST app and instructed to listen to a meditation on the app at least once a day for two-weeks. Results were analyzed using a one-way repeated measures MANOVA. Results found a significant main effect of time from pre-post training on perceived stress, working memory capacity, positive reappraisal, and mindfulness. Follow-up univariate analyses found significant effects of time from pre-post training on decreasing perceived stress, increasing working memory capacity, and mindfulness. Analysis of the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) and qualitative results found the MARST app to be a feasible mindfulness app for university students. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Keywords: MARST, mindfulness, cognitive resilience, working memory, positive reappraisal, perceived stress.