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Faculty Publications

McKillop Library supports and promotes the scholarship and research of faculty through its faculty lecture series and through this virtual and ongoing display of recent faculty publications. The display of faculty publications is updated biannually.

Ilana Haliwa, Ph.D.

Ilana Haliwa, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor | Psychology

Dr. Ilana Haliwa’s research centers on mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices in the promotion of both psychological and physiological wellbeing. She received her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from West Virgina University, her Master’s Degree in Public Health from Nova Southeastern University, and her B.S. in Psychology from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Recent publications include, “Risk and protective factors for college students’ psychological health during the COVID-19 pandemic,” in Journal of American College Health, “Predictors of change in mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic” in Journal of Affective Disorders, and “Exploring facets of the mindful personality: Dispositional mindfulness and the Big Five” in Personality and Individual Differences

Featured Fall 2023

A Mixed-Method Assessment of a 10-Day Mobile Mindfulness Intervention

Ilana Haliwa, Cameron G. Ford, Jenna M. Wilson, Natalie J. Shook

Abstract:   Mobile mindfulness interventions represent a promising alternative to traditional in-person interventions that are resource demanding and have limited accessibility, preventing use by many populations. Despite greater accessibility and popularity of mobile mindfulness applications (apps), research is needed testing the effectiveness of brief interventions delivered via these platforms. The present study assessed the efficacy of a brief mobile mindfulness intervention compared to an active control for increasing state and trait mindfulness and improving mood, as well as the acceptability of the app, in a sample of undergraduate students. Participants (N=139; Mage=19.43years, 80.6% female, 83.5% White) were randomly assigned to either a 10-day mobile mindfulness (Headspace) or cognitive training (Peak) condition. Trait mindfulness was measured pre- and post-intervention. During the 10-day intervention, participants completed 10-min daily exercises on the assigned app, responded to daily questionnaires of state mindfulness and mood, and completed a daily written log of their reactions to the app exercises. Attrition was low (90% completion rate) and did not differ by condition. Participants in the mindfulness condition spent an average of 88.15min (SD=24.75) meditating out of the full 100min prescribed by the intervention. State mindfulness significantly increased across the 10-day intervention for participants in the mindfulness, but not the cognitive training, condition beginning around days 5 and 6. Some aspects of trait mindfulness increased and mood improved from pre- to post-intervention, but these changes were observed in both conditions (i.e., no significant differences were observed by condition). Qualitative analysis of open-ended reactions to the mindfulness app indicated that participants reported more likes than dislikes. Common themes for likes were that participants experienced feelings of calm and focus following the daily mindfulness exercises. Dislikes included discomfort and anxiety associated with increased awareness of thoughts and physical sensations. These findings suggest that while a brief mobile mindfulness intervention is acceptable to undergraduate college students and effective at increasing state mindfulness, a longer intervention may be needed in order to elicit corresponding changes in trait-level mindfulness or mood.

Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 12 - 2021, 30 August 2021.

Open Access:   
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.722995