Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher & Adult Education

Committee Chair

Edith Gnanadass

Committee Member

Susan Nordstrom

Committee Member

Wendy Griswold

Committee Member

Dylan Graetz


Drawing on Social Constructionism (Berger & Luckmann, 1966; Gergen, 2009), this naturalistic evaluation (Guba, 1987; Lincoln & Guba, 1985) describes the effectiveness of mindfulness training and practice as self-care resources for international graduate students in the high-stress field of healthcare. The purpose of the study was to examine and understand the experiences of international graduate students trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and analyze the ways that the training and practice shaped the wellbeing of the students. This evaluation also helped me, the administrator responsible for student affairs for this group of students, to better understand how they used the practice and how I can improve the training. I interviewed eight students individually and held a focus group after the individual interviews were completed. Through a thematic analysis drawing on Braun and Clarke (2006), my main findings were that mindfulness training and practice were effective self-care resources in the highly individualized and personal ways that the students used them. The training made the students aware of the benefits of mindfulness through new and impactful experiences, including learning specific techniques that could easily be put into practice. Mindfulness training and practice improved the subjective wellbeing of the students in individual ways and to various degrees through both providing a tool that they could use to cope with stress and a tool to bring awareness to the present moment. I conclude my findings by connecting them to the theoretical framework and describing the limitations of the study. Three recommended actions are provided to improve the training for international students in high-stress fields both at the research site and more broadly in higher education and hospital administration.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Embargoed until 4/5/2026

Available for download on Sunday, April 05, 2026