Over recent decades, the number of students diagnosed with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders has substantially increased. These students face various challenges and experience stress when receiving higher education.
The purpose of this study was to compare two non-pharmacological interventions: mindfulness and device-guided slow breathing, with a control group.
Seventy-three students (age = 25.76, std. dev = 3.10) with attention problems and/or learning disabilities were randomly assigned to three groups: mindfulness meditation, device guided breathing practice and waiting-list control. Before and after the intervention physiological and psychological measures were collected.
Our results show that only mindfulness practice improved awareness of the present moment and decreased hyperactivity and inattention. Furthermore, both mindfulness and practice with device-guided breathing were associated with stress reduction, as shown by an increase in the galvanic skin response only in the control group.
Implementation of the study results may lead to an advance in treating attention deficit disorders and learning disabilities, especially among higher education students.

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