What Mindfulness Meditation can do for Women prone to Depression

A recent study discovered that mindfulness helps women better control their negative thoughts, aka “negative affect.” But men? Not so much. Women, in general, tend to practice mindful meditation more than men, but no one thought that gender difference had anything to do with the effectiveness of mindful.

The study

Researchers examined 41 male and 36 female students and their responses to a 12-week academic class on mindfulness traditions. The class required students to write papers, take tests, and make presentations. It also included weekly three-hour long meditation labs.

The study’s researchers asked participants to fill out a questionnaire at the beginning and end of each class. Eurekalert reports that researchers found:

  • There was no statistically significant difference in the amount of meditation practice by gender.
  • Men and women entered the class with no difference in their degree of negative affect. The students also did not leave the class showing a significant difference in negative affect because “… while women showed a significant 11.6 percent decline on the survey’s standardized score (which is a positive psychological outcome), men showed a non-significant 3.7 percent increase in their scores.”
  • Both genders improved their meditation skills, and gained mindfulness and self-compassion skills and their scores increased significantly. Overall, “women made greater gains than men on four of five areas of mindfulness.”
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