Welcome to the Mindful Living Lab!

Our research focuses on informing, developing, and evaluating interventions to improve coping with stress, reduce health risk behaviors, and enhance quality of life in underserved populations. 

We are particularly interested in how mindfulness might enhance emotion regulation and promote healthier behavior in diverse populations.

Mindfulness is "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally" (Jon Kabat-Zinn).


Goals and Research Questions

  • Elucidate mechanisms by which mindfulness might improve emotion regulation and associated health outcomes (e.g., smoking cessation, lower alcohol use, healthier diet). How might mindfulness improve psychological and physical health, and for whom?

  • Expand the study of mindfulness to underserved (i.e., low-income, racial/ethnic minority) populations. How can we disseminate mindfulness-based strategies for optimal results in diverse populations?

  • Utilize both qualitative and quantitative findings to inform the development of mindfulness-based interventions to improve emotion regulation and health. Could we develop mindfulness-based treatments that are more appealing and feasible for diverse populations

  • Utilize mobile technology to elucidate associations between moment-to-moment stressful experiences and health-related outcomes in the “real world.” How is stress associated with psychological and physical health outcomes on a real-time, real-life basis? 

  • Enhance health promotion interventions by using mobile health technology ("mHealth"). For example, could text messages provide vital support in the moments when people need it most as they quit smoking?

Ongoing Studies

  • Development of an mHealth-enhanced mindfulness intervention for smoking cessation

  • Qualitative research (focus groups, in-depth interviews) to explore better ways of teaching mindfulness and using mHealth to promote healthier behavior
  • Examination of health risk behaviors among disparity populations (e.g., individuals with low socioeconomic status, members of racial/ethnic minority groups, people with mental health conditions)

  • Study of cognitive and affective mechanisms underlying mindfulness-based addiction treatment

  • Experimental studies to examine how mindfulness and related meditative practices influence physiological stress responding (e.g., EKG, GSR) and health behaviors
  • Pilot study of a brief self-compassion intervention

  • Pilot study of mindfulness-based smoking cessation treatment in community mental health settings