Impact of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on anxiety, depression, and subjective happiness in Russian first-year psychology students
Globally, there has been an increase in the number of people with anxiety disorders and depression which is confirmed by particular Russian data. Despite overall improvements in the global economic situation in recent decades, general stress levels have not decreased. University freshmen are particularly vulnerable to stress. Therefore, this pilot study assesses the effectiveness of mindfulness training aimed at maintaining Russian students’ mental and physical health. The participants were 83 freshmen from the Psychology Department of Ural Federal University named after B.N. Yeltsin. Data collection was completed in November 2019. A non-randomized controlled trial was conducted using a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program. Results show that MBCT reduced depression and increased subjective happiness among first-year psychology students. Frequent mindfulness meditation practice and studying theoretical materials is associated with higher rates of positive results. The findings suggest that MBCT can be effective in working with first-year students in the Psychology Department of Ural Federal University. Nevertheless, further research is required before implementing the program on a broad scale in Russian universities.