The effects of Zen meditation on psychosocial health and well-being: A Korean experience


Ock Jin Cho

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology

Subject Categories

Counseling | Counseling Psychology


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Counseling and Educational Psychology

Thesis Adviser

Salud P. Evangelista

Defense Panel Chair

Teresa Villasor

Defense Panel Member

Estrellita V. Gruenberg
Melecio C. Deauna
Natividad A. Dayan
Imelda V. G. Villar


The purpose of this study was to assess an experimental and correlational research to find out if there are significant differences in psychosocial health and well-being between those who practice Zazen regularly over a prescribed length of time and those who do not practice Zazen over the same span. Techniques used in this study were exercises of both Formal and Contingent Informal Zen Meditation. The subjects were initially composed of 72 Koreans of both sexes, randomly chosen from those who had reported unfamiliarity with meditation literature and had never any prior experience with meditation practice as non-Buddhists. However, only 49 subjects participated in the study. Subjects were randomly assigned into experimental group (N=25) and a control group (N=24). The age range of the subjects is from 20-50 years old and the educational levels are from high school to college considering the comprehensiveness of Zen meditation. Instruments used in this study were the Individual Response to Meditation Form, Nine Self-Observed Behaviors Form, the Personal Orientation Inventory, and Social Values Questionnaire. These instruments were based on existing instrumentation and translated to Korean. They were validated for content by a group of Ewha Women's University professors in education and psychology.
All subjects in the 2 groups were given a pretest for the POI and SVQ. Upon each session, individual's responsive ratings to meditation were collected by experimenter. Subjects also observed their 9 behaviors by themselves on data charts for baseline and intervention phase, respectively. At the end of 4 weeks, all subjects in the 2 groups were given posttest for POI and SVQ. For testing differences and correlational relationship, one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and Pearson r were used, respectively. All tests of significance would be at .05 level of confidence. In the analysis, all hypotheses were accepted at the .05 level, significant at same level. From the findings, it was evident that in practices such as insight meditation where these practices could be not only examined necessity in producing certain reliable behavioral self-change, but also concerned with specifying the utilization of various healthy personality or personality changes as an actualization of human potentialities based on Korean characteristics which may be realized through appropriate comprehension of Korean society, the people's values and their cultural heritage. The findings therefore, would clarify not only a necessary and healthy step for the growth of Korean psychosocial aspects on the basis of traditional thoughts, but also for their counseling and psychotherapy, in general.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

230 leaves, 28 cm.


Zen meditations; Well-being--Religious aspects

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