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Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Incarcerated Youth: A Mixed-Method Pilot Study

Author(s): Sam Himelstein

Journal: International Journal of Transpersonal Studies
ISSN 1321-0122

Volume: 30;
Issue: 1-2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: mindfulness-based intervention | MBSR | substance abuse | juvenile offenders | incarcerated youth | self-regulation | transpersonal psychology

The current study investigated the effects of an 8-week mindfulness-based substance use intervention on self-reported impulsiveness, perceived drug risk, and healthy self-regulation in a sample of 60 incarcerated youth. Forty-eight participants completed questionnaires pre and post intervention.Additionally, 16 participants from two of the final 8-week cohorts were interviewed in focus groups about their experience of the program immediately following its completion. A mixed-method embedded model was used, in which qualitative data was used in support of quantitative data. Paired t-tests revealed a significant decrease (p < .01) in impulsiveness and a significant increase (p < .05)in perceived risk of drug use from pretest to posttest. No significant differences were found on selfreported self-regulation. Focus group interviews conducted immediately following the intervention revealed three major themes: receptivity to the program in general, appreciation of the facilitator teaching style, and learning about drugs. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.
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