Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Education



First Advisor

Paul Bueno de Mesquita


An increasing number of college students in the US are reportedly experiencing significant levels of emotional distress and mental health challenges. College students who practice compassion have been found to have significantly lower negative emotions when compared to students who do not practice compassionate thinking. This underscores the need for compassion education programs. However, only a limited number of college students benefit from existing compassion programs because many are too busy to commit to eight or more weeks of such face to face training along with their regular course load and work schedule. This study used a quantitative method with a pre-experimental research design consisting of a one-group pretest-posttest method to evaluate the effects of a brief online, film-mediated compassion education program, 8 Steps to Great Compassion, developed and produced for the purposes of this study. The overall findings overwhelmingly demonstrated that the brief online compassion education program resulted in a consistently positive impact on participants’ feelings of compassion toward themselves and others, and also on their sense of personal wellbeing. These significant and positive results give strong support for the feasibility of compassion education that can be effectively and efficiently delivered in brief online, individualized, film-mediated instructional formats. This study showed that such programs can dramatically lead to a positive change for improved health, well-being, and a more happy, more positive outlook for college students, thereby reducing negative emotions such as stress and anxiety. Limitations of this study and implications for future research are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.