Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Racism-Psychological aspects, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, Control (Psychology), Meditation-Therapeutic use, Anti-racism, Mindfulness, Locus of control, Meditation


The purpose of this research was to explore potential correlations between mindfulness and racism among White meditation practitioners. The secondary purpose was to investigate how locus of control may moderate those correlations. This research was carried out with the goal of identifying ways in which anti-racism programs could be more effective, the role mindfulness might play in future anti-racism programming, and how cultural messages about control might shape relationships between mindfulness and racism. Variations among style and degree of mindfulness practice were also assessed. Participants filled out an online survey that included scales to assess their self-reported racial animosity, emotional responses to racism, trait mindfulness, and locus of control. Results showed that among the 138 participants, people with higher trait mindfulness scored lower on White Guilt and higher on two of the four racial animosity sub-scales. The majority of those correlations were stronger with an internal locus of control, though there was some variability. No correlation was found between mindfulness and White Empathy or mindfulness and White Fear. Discussion of the results explores the potential influence of social desirability, the bellcurve impact of a mindfulness practice, and the cultural rearticulation of mindfulness and control to meet the Western preference for individualism and self-determination.




iv, 108 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 73-92)