Effect of Zen meditation practice on perceived stress in college students: A survey study

Pei-Chen Lo*, Shr Da Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Most physical and psychological problems in modern people have been proven to be caused by stress. This finding stimulated the demand for techniques that can effectively manipulate the stress perception. The influence of stress on college students lasts longer at the age when there is a fast development of personality and life viewpoint. This survey study thus mainly examines the effect of Zen-meditation practice on stress manipulation in college students. 541 college students were divided into two groups, with Zen-meditation practice in their daily lives and those who do not meditate. To evaluate the perceived stress of participants, DASS questionnaire was used to measure their negative emotional states (depression, anxiety and stress/tension). The results showed that (1) considerably high percentage of college students who did not practice Zen meditation exhibited negative emotional problem (depression: 45%; anxiety: 48%; stress/tension: 50%); (2) a much lower percentage of students with meditation practice encountered the negative emotional problem (depression: 8%; anxiety: 30%; stress/tension: 12%). This study reflects the benefits of meditation on stress manipulation. It may also imply that having more meditation, having longer meditation time, and doing meditation more frequently could further improve the states of negative emotion. It also implies that meditation experience played a considerable role in effectively manipulating some stress symptoms like depression and anxiety. This is demonstrated by the significantly lower scores (p < 0.001) in the group of experienced (> 0.5 year) meditators as compared with the control group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-413
Number of pages5
JournalBiomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis and Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • DASS
  • Negative emotional state
  • Stress management
  • Zen meditation

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