Prior findings suggest that college students (CS) are facing an acute mental health crisis. Rates of psychological disorders significantly increased in college students (CS) in the beginning months of the pandemic compared to the latter portion of 2019. Recent reports suggest that CS identifying as racial or ethnic minorities are more vulnerable to psychological health challenges compared to their White counterparts. Thus, urgent solutions are needed to tackle mental health challenges facing CS. Motivated by prior evidence that mindfulness training and dance therapy may benefit well-being, the present study aims to investigate psychological health in students participating in mindfulness-infused dance movement therapy (DT-M) courses compared to those in traditional dance (i.e., Jazz, Ballet) courses at the University of Miami. Participants’ psychological health will be evaluated at the beginning and end of the Spring 2024 semester. The effects of everyday experiences of discrimination on the psychological health of students identifying as part of a minority group (e.g., racial, ethnic) will also be explored. If DT-M is found to protect the psychological health of CS, as predicted herein, the study results could help inform curricular mental health solutions for undergraduates facing record psychological health challenges.

Malena Price

University of Miami

Grantee, Planning Committee Member