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Shannon Marie Maloney

BA (Hons), magna cum laude

DPhil student

  • American Rotary Scholar (2018-2019)

Exploring Mechanisms of Change in Mindfulness-Based Programs

 Alongside Professor Willem Kuyken, Dr. Christina Surawy,  and Professor Maryanne Martin, my research aims to elucidate mechanisms of change that explain how and why mindfulness-based programs predict change in symptoms of anxiety and depression in the general population. Some hypothesized mechanisms include interoceptive awareness, decentring, attentional control, and self-compassion. The way in which we intend to explore possible mechanisms of change is through dismantling trials; specifically looking at how individual meditation practices (body scan, befriending, breath, and mindful movement) operate in isolation rather than in combination of each other. Whilst keeping in mind the MBCT framework, we hypothesize that there are ‘universal’ mechanisms shared between these different meditation practices but also ‘specific’ mechanisms that are more sensitive to change after completing a particular mindfulness practice. Other research objectives include exploring dose-response, in regards to understanding the dosage of treatment (mindfulness practice) required to elicit change in a range of outcome variables in the short-term and the longer-term.


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Exploratory study of how and why mindfulness works


Ethics Approval Reference: R64751/RE001

We are no longer accepting expressions of interest at this time (November 2020 update). Will provide information for upcoming study in due course. 

Numerous studies have demonstrated that practising mindfulness can improve a variety of mental and physical health outcomes. However, there is a limited understanding of how and why mindfulness works. The aim of this research is to uncover this ‘how’ and ‘why’.

Are you 18 years old or over? Have you completed a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program? If yes, then join our two-week mindfulness study!

What would I be invited to do?

  • Complete a brief guided mindfulness practice every day for two weeks
  • Keep track of a daily journal log for two weeks
  • Attend two 1.5 hour sessions online using Microsoft Teams, which will include completing online questionnaires and a novel colouring task!

We are no longer accepting expressions of interest at this time (November 2020 update). Will provide information for upcoming study in due course. If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Maloney at