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TM Research

American University

American University

Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program on
Neurophysiology, Cognitive Development and Health in College Students


This two-year, $1.2 million, randomized-controlled-trial conducted by American University researched the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on three–hundred undergraduate and graduate students from American University, George Washington University, Howard University, and the University of the District of Columbia. The research evaluated the health and educational outcomes of TM practice in these students, with additional focus on students with learning disorders and pre-hypertension.

Measurements were taken at baseline and at post-test six months later. Half of the students learned after pre-test. The other half served as wait-list controls and received instruction after post-test.


Decreased Blood Pressure: Students at risk for hypertension experienced significant reductions in blood pressure over a ten-month period.

Reduced Psychological Distress: Students experienced broad-ranging reductions in symptoms of psychological distress—including anger, tension, depression, and anxiety.

Increased Student Development: Study participants reported significant improvements in coping ability and greater resilience to stress.

Greater Alertness: At post-test, a week prior to finals, TM participants reported reduced symptoms of fatigue as compared to ten weeks prior.


American University: David Haaga, Ph.D., Department of Psychology

Maharishi University of Management Research Institute: Robert Schneider, M.D.; Sanford Nidich, Ed.D.; Fred Travis, Ph.D.


American Journal of Hypertension 22(12): 1326-31, 2009

International Journal of Psychophysiology 71(2): 170-176, 2009

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