PRC Seminar: Cultivating Mindfulness in the Second Decade of Life

Brian Galla, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Psychology in Education, University of Pittsburgh

  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 from 12:00 pm–1:00 pm
  • 312 Biobehavioral Health Building

This talk will describe a series of studies with adolescent samples to understand how mindfulness develops and various practices for cultivating it intentionally. The first study examines naturalistic development of one facet of mindfulness—nonreactivity to inner experiences—during the transition from middle school to high school and its associations with perceived stress and emotional well-being. The second study tests the short-term effect of a weeklong, intensive mindfulness retreat on various indices of social-emotional and cognitive functioning. The third and final study leverages a well-known technique from motivation science—action planning—to boost mindfulness practice in daily life. The talk will end with a discussion of the implications for contemplative science and directions for future research.

About the Presenter: 

Dr. Brian Galla is an assistant professor of Applied Developmental Psychology in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. A former high school educator and youth mentor, he received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and dual B.S. and B.A. degrees from the University of Notre Dame. The objective of Dr. Galla’s scholarship is to understand qualities other than cognitive ability that predict academic achievement and positive youth development. His research centers on self-control, defined as the ability to voluntarily regulate thoughts, emotions, and behavior in service of personally valued goals despite conflicting impulses and urges. His research is funded by grants from the John Templeton Foundation and the Mind & Life Institute, and has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, and other peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Galla is also the recipient of research awards from the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association. 

This event will also be broadcast live via Zoom at: https://psu.zoom.us/j/344754344