Social Work Students use of Adapted Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Strategy


  • April Viverette Our Lady of the Lake University
  • Alicia Hawley-Bernardez
  • Rosalind Evans


stress, COVID-19, mindfulness, education, social work students


Stress management programs are not available or required in many social work programs, and the need for programming is apparent considering NASW’s self-care mandate and COVID-19 pandemic-related student impacts. Using a convergent mixed methods design, the authors investigated the effects of an adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction course as a stress management strategy for social work students (n=15) during the COVID-19 pandemic to determine if there are any effects on students’ levels of stress and mindful self-care behaviours. Three five-week courses consisting of synchronous meetings and asynchronous practice materials were conducted. The Perceived Stress Scale and Mindful Self-Care Scale were administered to students as pre-test and post-test, and a focus group was conducted at the conclusion of each course’s final week. Three themes emerged: commitment and routine, practice and techniques, and accountability and Wilcoxon signed ranks test results showed no significant effects of adapted mindfulness on students’ perceived stress ( z= -.882, p=.378). However, mindful relaxation (z = -3.04, p=.002), and students’ self-compassion and purpose (z = -2.62, p=.009), and mindful awareness (z = -1.93, p=.054) increased. Although stress levels were not significantly affected, students’ self-care improved, which aligns with the NASW code of ethics mandating professionalism through self-care.


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Original Research

How to Cite

Social Work Students use of Adapted Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Strategy. (2023). Journal of Social Work Education and Practice, 8(3), 12-26.