Guided Mindfulness-Acceptance Self-Help Intervention for Dysphoric Students: Preliminary Findings




self-help, attention training, mindfulness-acceptance, ruminations, dysphoric symptoms


The purpose of this pilot study was to test the efficacy of a novel self-help program called Attention training (AT) based on the mindfulness-acceptance principles in a sample of dysphoric students. We tried to determine if the program: a) contributed to immediate and follow-up changes in the presumed components and mechanisms of mindfulness-acceptance - psychological flexibility, attention control (switching and updating), and rumination; b) was followed by a reduction in dysphoric symptoms; c) had different effects depending on a different order of exercises within AT. The final sample consists of 18 students from the University of Novi Sad, 19-29 years old with mild and moderate depression (selected through pre-screening procedure). Data were collected at 4 measurement occasions:  before the first group meeting (pretest), right after completion of all exercises (posttest), and two follow-ups - one and three months post-treatment. AT consisted of 8 small-group, weekly meetings (up to 5 persons and < 90 minutes of overall therapist support). Participants listened to the audio-recorded exercises that targeted the somatic, emotional, and cognitive domains. The sample was randomly split into two groups with a different order of the emotional and cognitive exercises.  We found that AT, as a self-help intervention, can potentially lead to improvements in the mindfulness components and mechanisms, even though an increase in the depressive symptoms was noticed. Different explanations were provided for such findings, including suggestions for further optimization of the program and recommendations for further research.


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How to Cite

Tovilović, S., Novović, Z., Mihić, L., & Petrović, T. (2022). Guided Mindfulness-Acceptance Self-Help Intervention for Dysphoric Students: Preliminary Findings. Primenjena Psihologija, 15(4), 473–506.



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