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Behav Res Ther. 2016 Jun;81:1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2016.03.002. Epub 2016 Mar 21.

Effectiveness of a school-based mindfulness program for transdiagnostic prevention in young adolescents.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia. Electronic address: catherine.johnson@flinders.edu.au.
2
Institute of Positive Psychology and Education, Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia.
3
Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; School of Population Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
4
School of Psychology, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia.

Abstract

Anxiety, depression and eating disorders show peak emergence during adolescence and share common risk factors. School-based prevention programs provide a unique opportunity to access a broad spectrum of the population during a key developmental window, but to date, no program targets all three conditions concurrently. Mindfulness has shown promising early results across each of these psychopathologies in a small number of controlled trials in schools, and therefore this study investigated its use in a randomised controlled design targeting anxiety, depression and eating disorder risk factors together for the first time. Students (M age 13.63; SD = .43) from a broad band of socioeconomic demographics received the eight lesson, once weekly.b ("Dot be") mindfulness in schools curriculum (N = 132) or normal lessons (N = 176). Anxiety, depression, weight/shape concerns and wellbeing were the primary outcome factors. Although acceptability measures were high, no significant improvements were found on any outcome at post-intervention or 3-month follow-up. Adjusted mean differences between groups at post-intervention were .03 (95% CI: -.06 to -.11) for depression, .01 (-.07 to -.09) for anxiety, .02 (-.05 to -.08) for weight/shape concerns, and .06 (-.08 to -.21) for wellbeing. Anxiety was higher in the mindfulness than the control group at follow-up for males, and those of both genders with low baseline levels of weight/shape concerns or depression. Factors that may be important to address for effective dissemination of mindfulness-based interventions in schools are discussed. Further research is required to identify active ingredients and optimal dose in mindfulness-based interventions in school settings.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Mindfulness; Prevention; Schools; Transdiagnostic

PMID:
27054828
DOI:
10.1016/j.brat.2016.03.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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