Increases in positive reappraisal coping during a group-based mantram intervention mediate sustained reductions in anger in HIV-positive persons

Jill E. Bormann, Adam Carrico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Background: There is evidence that various meditation practices reduce distress, but little is known about the mechanisms of frequently repeating a mantram-a spiritual word or phrase-on distress reduction. Mantram repetition is the portable practice of focusing attention frequently on a mantram throughout the day without a specific time, place, or posture. Purpose: We examined the hypothesis of whether increases in positive reappraisal coping or distancing coping mediated the sustained decreases in anger found following a group-based mantram intervention that was designed to train attention and promote awareness of internal experiences. Method: A secondary analysis was performed on data collected from a randomized controlled trial that compared a group-based mantram intervention (n∈=∈46) to an attention-matched control (n∈=∈47) in a community sample of human immunodeficiency virus-positive adults. Positive reappraisal and distancing coping were explored as potential mediators of anger reduction. Results: Participants in the mantram intervention reported significant increases in positive reappraisal coping over the 5-week intervention period, whereas the control group reported decreases. Increases in positive reappraisal coping during the 5-week intervention period appear to mediate the effect of mantram on decreased anger at 22-week follow-up. Conclusions: Findings suggest that a group-based mantram intervention may reduce anger by enhancing positive reappraisal coping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Acceptance-based responding
  • Anger
  • Cognitive coping
  • HIV
  • Intervention
  • Mantra
  • Meditation
  • Meta-cognition
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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