Examining the neurobehavioral correlates of mindfulness-based training in military spouses.

View Amishi Jha’s video on Vimeo.

Though mindfulness training has demonstrated positive results for the cognitive and emotional functioning of soldiers and marines, virtually nothing is known about the impact of mindfulness training on military spouses. Might mindfulness-training offered to spouses aid in their return to psychological health? If so, this training may help curb the negative contagion of deployment-cycle stress on military family units.

Dr. Amishi P. Jha, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami in Florida, has a hypothesis: Offering contemplative training to key individuals who comprise the ‘connective tissue’ of a community has the potential to improve not only the quality of well-being experienced by those individuals, but may provide positive contagion for the entire community. Dr. Jha, a 1440 Grantee, is planning to offer this training and research project to an under-supported group of individuals important to the U.S. military spouses. This may be the first research project to examine the neurobehavioral correlates of mindfulness-based training in this cohort.

With support from 1440 Foundation, the Jha Lab at the Department of Psychology is investigating the proximal effects of offering mindfulness training, using a modified version of the SMART project (developed and delivered by Margaret Cullen), on cognitive and affective functioning in military spouses. If positive results are observed, Dr. Jha’s lab will use the pilot data generated to propose larger training and research studies from federal sources.

An extended video interview with Amishi Jha is available at the 1440 channel on Vimeo.

Event-Related Potential (Brainwave Recording). Dr. Jha with a student setting up for the brainwave recording session.

Dr. Jha explaining results for research of mindfulness training to the Commandant of the US Army Infantry School, COL Walter Piatt.

Amishi Jha conducts a discussion during a lab meeting

Dr. Jha with Lab members Cristina Garcia and Judy Gomez, observing stimulus presentation and brainwave data during recording experiment