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Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Neurophysiology, Cognitive Development, and Health in College Students - Part II
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20 December 2007
The following are the health measures to be taken during the 2-year study being conducted at American University. [Please refer to Part I of this article.]
Students' blood pressure at each assessment will be measured three times with a mercury sphygmomanometer after five minutes resting without practicing any formal relaxation technique. Three readings will be taken one minute apart. The latter two will be averaged and taken as the clinic mean for that visit.
Smoking, alcohol, and other substance use will be assessed by standard questionnaires used in earlier studies. For alcohol, subjects will be queried by the Weekly drinking Recall (WR) method as to the number of drinks of alcohol consumed during the week prior to completing the questionnaire: 0, 1-4, 5-10, 11-20, and >20 drinks per week. Smoking will be assessed by the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and other substance usage by the number of times per week students engaged in nonprescribed drug use.
General Health Questionnaire
The Profile of Mood States will be used to assess depression and psychological stress, including anger, tension, and other factors related to emotional and physical health.
Emotional Intelligence: The Constructive Thinking Inventory will be used to assess emotional intelligence and general coping skills.
EEG Coherence: Factors from the Brain Integration Report Card, such as global coherence and power, will be used to assess student neurophysiological integration, which has been associated with development of higher states of consciousness.
The Ravens Progressive Matrices test will be used to assess nonverbal cognitive intelligence, or IQ, which has been found to plateau in the 20s.
Attention Deficit Disorder
The Connors Continuous Performance test will be used to assess inattention and impulsivity in a subgroup of ADD students with or without hyperactivity. In addition, students will also fill out a self-rating scale that measures behaviors related to ADHD.
With appropriate permissions, grade-point average will be collected for all student participants and pre-post intervention changes analyzed.
American University: David Haaga, Ph.D. Department of Psychology;
Maharishi University of Management Research Institute: Robert Schneider, M.D.; Sanford Nidich, Ed.D.; Fred Travis, Ph.D.
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