Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rachel A. Razza


Adolescence, Anxiety Disorders, Attentional Biases, College Students, Mindfulness, Self-Compassion

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


The present study examined associations among mindfulness, self-compassion, social anxiety, loneliness and attention bias toward threat in a community sample of undergraduate university students (n = 176). Of interest was whether threat bias would mediate the independent effects of mindfulness and self-compassion on social anxiety and loneliness. Threat bias is characterized by the display of exaggerated attention toward threatening cues in the environment and has been repeatedly linked to the origin and continuation of anxious symptoms. Given the focus of contemplative practices on attentional awareness and control, this study examined whether mindfulness and self-compassion may contribute to decreased levels of anxiety and loneliness, in part, by influencing attentional mechanisms that may lower threat bias. The specificity of individual facets of mindfulness and self-compassion were also examined in relation to threat bias, social anxiety and loneliness. Overall, findings confirm previous studies, demonstrating strong predictive associations between mindfulness, self-compassion, social anxiety and loneliness in college students. Results also highlight the indirect effect of attention bias in the relationship between self-compassion, loneliness and social anxiety. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to contemplative intervention programs to promote healthy social adjustment and relations in late adolescent college students.


Attentional biases, Anxiety disorders, Dot probe, Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, Adolescence, College Students


Open Access