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Center for Social Emotional Health and Consciousness

TM & Social Emotional Health

Sanford Nidich

Sanford Nidich, EdD, Center Director

The mission of the Center for Social Emotional Health and Consciousness is to research effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on core factors of children’s and adult’s psychosocial development (resilience, self-efficacy, self-awareness, emotional regulation, and optimism) and mental health (traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue).

The research initiatives will draw from a wide-range of academic disciplines, including education and other social sciences, business, molecular biology and physiology, mathematics, and Maharishi Vedic Science. A main objective of the center is the training of a new generation of researchers to study the effects of consciousness.

The Center’s current research programs include:


(middle and high school students, college students, teachers, and university faculty)

  • Psychological distress
  • Trauma
  • Academic performance
  • Graduation rates
  • Cost effectiveness


  • Trauma symptoms
  • Criminal thinking (cognitive errors)
  • Spiritual well-being
  • Recidivism

Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Trauma symptoms
  • Quality of life
  • Depression
  • Sleep quality
  • Inflammatory and genetic biomarkers

Women’s Health

  • Psychological distress
  • Self-efficacy
  • Resilience
  • Empowerment, and global initiatives in disadvantaged populations

Currently researchers affiliated with the Center are engaged in projects funded by the Department of Defense and private foundations on Veterans with PTSD, disadvantaged students, adults suffering from addiction, battered women, men and women inmates, HIV patients, family caregivers, teachers and academic physicians. Collaborators include researchers from North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital in NY, Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System, University of California San Diego, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Portland, Oregon, Western Oregon University, and University of Pennsylvania. Projects are taking place both in the U.S. and internationally.

Senior Researchers

  • Sanford Nidich, Ed.D., Director
  • John Fagan, Ph.D.,
  • Cathy Gorini, Ph.D.
  • Chris Jones. Ed.D.
  • Randi Nidich, Ed.D.
  • Craig Pearson, Ph.D.
  • Maxwell Rainforth, Ph.D.
  • John Salerno, Ph.D.

Associate Researcher

  • Leslee Goldstein

Assistant Researchers

  • Marie Loiselle
  • Arun Srivastava

Affiliated Senior Researchers

  • Charles Elder, Kaiser Permanente NW, Portland, Oregon
  • Paul Mills, Ph.D., University of California at San Diego
  • Stephen Arndt, Ph.D., University of Iowa Medical School

Affiliated Associate Researcher

  • Blaze Compton, M.A.

Current Grants

Principal Investigator: Sanford Nidich, Ed.D.

Funder: Department of Defense W81XWH-12-1-0576 (PT110413)

“A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Transcendental Meditation Compared to Exposure Therapy and Health Education Control on PTSD in Veterans”

Partnering Principal Investigator, Tom Rutledge, Ph.D., Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS)

Performance Dates: October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2017

Total grant amount: $2.4 million

Recent Center Publications

  • Nidich S, Nidich RJ, Salerno J, Hadfield B, Elder C. Stress Reduction with the Transcendental Meditation Program in Caregivers: A Pilot Study. International Archives of Nursing and Health Care 2015: 1:011.
  • Nidich, S., O’Connor, T., Rutledge, T., Duncan, J., Compton, B., Seng, A., Nidich, R. Reduced trauma symptoms and perceived stress in male prison inmates through the Transcendental Meditation program: A randomized controlled trial. The Permanente Journal 2016; 20(4) 16-007.
  • Nidich S, Seng A, Compton B, O’Connor T, Salerno JW, Nidich R. Transcendental Meditation and reduced trauma symptoms in female inmates: A randomized controlled study. The Permanente Journal 2017; 2116-008. DOI:


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