MUM alumna Leslee Goldstein, PhD just had her study published in Health Care for Women International on how the Transcendental Meditation® technique can empower single, disadvantaged mothers in Uganda.
Dr. Goldstein decided to focus her Maharishi Vedic ScienceSMdoctoral study on women in Africa for two reasons. She had always enjoyed working with women, and there had been no studies done on this population.
Within 48 hours of her decision, she heard about the need for a researcher in Uganda to conduct a study on 81 women. Two months later she was in Uganda working with the African Women and Girls Organization for Total Knowledge (AWAGO).
Of the 81 women, 41 learned the TM® technique, and the rest served as the control group. After practicing the TM technique twice a day for three months, the study participants improved their ability to cope with difficult life challenges. Although Dr. Goldstein graduated in 2014, her study didn’t end. She and her team followed up with additional questionnaires after eight months and then again in three years.
The long-term results indicated that the women enjoyed improved health, better relationships with others, and increased employment rates. “That’s what has made the study so powerful, that the participants were still regular with their TM practice and getting benefits,” said Dr. Goldstein.
Dr. Goldstein is now on the advisory board of AWAGO and coordinates special projects. Her current focus is to help implement a community business model, possibly organic agriculture, so the women could live together peacefully and generate income to take care of their children.
Dr. Goldstein was a member of the graduating class of MIU in 1977 and since then has earned two master’s degrees and a PhD from MUM. She has also worked in various positions at MUM. She hopes to conduct further research on the effect of the TM technique on women. “I have real affinity towards working with women, especially in Africa,” she said. “I feel a kindred connection with these women and the culture.”
Co-authors of the study were Drs. Sanford Nidich, Rachel Goodman, and David Goodman. This research was supported by funding from the Rona and Jeffrey Abramson Foundation, and Dr. Rick and Jean Mofsen.
Watch a short video about Leslee’s research here.