Posts Tagged ‘College students’

New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students

February 20, 2019

Tues, Feb 19, 2019: A study published in Psychological Reports showed that after 3.5 months of practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM), most of the 34 tertiary-level students at Maharishi Institute (MI)—all of whom were initially diagnosed with PTSD by mental health professionals—went below clinical thresholds as measured by standard assessments. Students also experienced relief from depression. A comparison group from University of Johannesburg (UJ) with the same diagnosis received no treatment and showed no change in their symptoms.

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College students diagnosed with PTSD at Maharishi Institute (MI) and University of Johannesburg (UJ) were tested at 15, 60 and 105 days. After 3.5 months, the MI group practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) went below clinical thresholds, while controls at UJ showed no change.

A very high percentage of young people in South Africa suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. A college that offers the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique to its students found this approach helped reduce their symptoms.

A study published today in Psychological Reports showed that after 3.5 months of practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM), most of the 34 tertiary-level students at Maharishi Institute (MI)—all of whom were initially diagnosed with PTSD by mental health professionals—went below clinical thresholds as measured by standard assessments. The students also experienced relief from depression.

A comparison group of 34 students from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) suffering from PTSD and depression received no treatment and continued to show no change in their symptoms throughout the study.

High levels of PTSD

An international research team of seven scientists and psychologists conducted the study. At the start, students at MI and UJ had a score of 44 or more on their PCL-C test and a clinician’s verification of PTSD. A score above 44 indicates likely PTSD and below 34 indicates that one is below the PTSD threshold.

Symptoms included nightmares, flashbacks to traumatic events, anxiety, fear, and hyper-vigilance. They also reported emotional numbness, anger, and violent behavior, as well as abuse of drugs and alcohol. PTSD is a chronic, debilitating condition that may last a lifetime if not treated effectively.

The study showed a rapid and significant reduction of symptoms in the test group, according to lead author Dr. Carole Bandy, professor of psychology at Norwich University, America’s oldest military college. Results were stable over time.

“A high percentage of young people in South Africa, especially those living in the townships, suffer from PTSD,” said co-author Michael Dillbeck, researcher in the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa. “To become successful students and productive members of society, they absolutely need help dealing with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Our study shows, that after 3 months of meditation, this group, on average, was out of PTSD. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem.”

Our study shows, that after 3 months of meditation (TM), this group, on average, was out of PTSD. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem.”

High levels of PTSD are prevalent in South Africa

Up to 25% of the population in South Africa suffers from PTSD, according to Dr. Eugene Allers, past-president of the South African Society of Psychiatrists. Estimates put the same figure in the USA at 8%.

Several recent scientific studies show that adolescents and children in South Africa may be exposed to relatively high levels of traumatic experiences, particularly witnessing or experiencing violence of a criminal or domestic nature, associated in turn with estimates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ranging from 8% to 38% (Ensink, Robertson, Zissis & Leger, 1997; Pelzer, 1999; Seedat, van Nood, Vythilingum, Stein & Kaminer, 2000; Suliman, Kaminer, Seedat & Stein, 2005).

UJ students assessed by expert NGO

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), the largest mental health NGO in SA, which assists more than 180,000 people each year, interviewed and tested UJ students suffering from PTSD. They were also tested for depression, since it often accompanies PTSD and can in fact be considered a component of PTSD.

Students were only invited to join the study if they met two criteria for having PTSD: a score indicating PTSD on the PCL-C paper test and the opinion of a trained psychologist. Re-testing was 15, 60 and 105 days after baseline testing.

MI students find relief

At 15 days into the study, Maharishi Institute students showed a significant drop of more than 10 points in their PTSD symptoms after learning Transcendental Meditation. They also found relief from depression, judged by Beck Depression Index scores.

Re-testing was also carried out at 60 days and 105 days of their TM practice. By 105 days, the average group score for the MI students was below the PTSD threshold of 34, according to the paper tests. The UJ students showed no significant reduction in symptoms—neither depression nor PTSD. They received no support of any kind.

A binary logistical regression analysis for the effect of TM practice on PTSD PCL-C diagnosis 105 days after instruction was also highly significant, with 7 likely PTSD and 27 unlikely for the experimental group and 30 likely and 4 unlikely for the comparison group.

First study of its kind

This is the first study of its kind to show how Transcendental Meditation can reduce PTSD in college students. “This study shows that there are new tools available for professionals to add to their tool bag,” says Zane Wilson, Founder and Chairman of SADAG.

This is the first study of its kind to show how Transcendental Meditation can reduce PTSD in college students.

Thirteen previous studies utilizing Transcendental Meditation showed reductions in PTSD on Congolese war refugees, US war veterans, and male and female prisoners.

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About the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Transcendental Meditation® is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It is easily learned, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. It doesn’t involve concentration, control of the mind, contemplation, or monitoring of thoughts or breathing. The practice allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of inner calm. For more information visit https://www.tm.org.

Funding for the study was provided by David Lynch Foundation and PTSD Relief Now Corporation (African PTSD Relief), two US 501c3 charities.

Ref: Bandy, C, Dillbeck, M., Sezibera, V., Taljaard, L., de Reuck, J., Wilks, M., Shapiro, D., Peycke, R. (Psychological Reports. on-line: February, 2019) Reduction of PTSD in South African University Students Using Transcendental Meditation Practice. DOI: 10.1177/0033294119828036 | US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health: PubMed

EurekAlert! | ZME Science | Medical News Today | PsychCentral | OMTimes: New Hope for Trauma Victims by David H Shapiro | many more

MGFC reviewed this new study, including previous research in this area, and interviewed co-authors, research coordinator David Shapiro, and Maharishi Institute chairman Richard Peycke: 80% of Students Free of PTSD in 105 Days with Transcendental Meditation.

See this recent study: #TranscendentalMeditation as good as or better than ‘gold standard’ when treating veterans with #PTSD. See other TM studies and articles on PTSD posted on this blog.

@MaharishiU Accounting Prof Andrew Bargerstock prepares students for XBRL certification – Ledger

January 17, 2014

College students learn difficult accounting program
By ANDY HALLMAN | Jan 16, 2014

Maharishi University of Management accounting professor Andrew Bargerstock teaches a class in which students are certified in an accounting program called Extensible Business Reporting Language. M.U.M. is the first college in the world to offer certification in the program as part of its academic curriculum. / Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN

Maharishi University of Management accounting professor Andrew Bargerstock teaches a class in which students are certified in an accounting program called Extensible Business Reporting Language. M.U.M. is the first college in the world to offer certification in the program as part of its academic curriculum. / Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN

Accounting students at Maharishi University of Management are getting a leg up on the competition.

Those students have the opportunity to become certified in a worldwide accounting standard. According to M.U.M. accounting professor Andrew Bargerstock, the university is the first in the world to offer this certification as part of its curriculum.

The standard is called Extensible Business Reporting Language, often referred to simply as XBRL. It is a way of creating an accounting document that allows the information to be easily transferred to government agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The program requires a high level of computer coding knowledge. Bargerstock said learning how to use the program is no easy task because the students are bombarded with tons of technical computer jargon unfamiliar to most accountants.

“Accountants typically don’t have a lot of training in IT [information technology],” Bargerstock said. “They’ll know how to run ‘Quickbooks’ and ‘Excel,’ but they don’t know anything about the underlying coding. It’s a bit of a challenge. It takes a little bit longer for the water to seep into the sponge – a very dry sponge.”

Bargerstock and 11 of his students have been certified in XBRL, so he knows just how difficult the program is to learn.

“I failed the test the first time I took it, and had to go over it and over it again,” he said.

The certification training is done online and includes instructional audio files. The first time Bargerstock tuned in to one of the audio courses, he reacted by saying to himself, “This is way beyond what I was expecting. There was so much jargon it sounded like a foreign language.”

Learning XBRL is no picnic but once the students complete the necessary training they will stand out from their peers. Recruiting firms have told Bargerstock XBRL certification will put M.U.M.’s students at the top of the pile of résumés when it comes time to look for a job.

“In job interviews, people will say whatever they need to to get the job, and they’ll be a chameleon who changes from day to day,” he said. “This certification shows the students have taken the initiative to learn something.”

The federal government has required businesses and organizations to submit their accounting records in XBRL format since 2011. Bargerstock said the advantage of XBRL is the numbers only have to be entered in the original accounting document and not in every report created from that document. When it comes time to create the reports for the various government agencies, each agency extracts from the document whatever it needs to create its own report.

In the past, accountants would have to tediously fill out reports for each government agency. Now, those reports are created automatically by the computer thanks to the way the information is coded.

Bargerstock introduced his students to XBRL certification last fall. Although he helped the students with their certification, they trained for the certification on their own outside of class and did not receive academic credit. Another group of six students began taking a class with Bargerstock in November in which they were receiving academic credit while obtaining XBRL certification. Those students will finish their class in February.

Reprinted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger. The article was on the front page of Thursday’s Ledger, five columns across the middle of the page, with a photo.

Added point of clarification from Andy Bargerstock: “The certification training does not teach the technical side (tagging) of XBRL. XBRL certification training is the first step towards competency. If any of our certified students get hired, they will need 2-3 months of intensive training in the technical aspects of XBRL.”

Related: @LauraSimon reports on @MaharishiU Accounting students gaining certification in new worldwide financial reporting standard.


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