Evaluation of Yoga for Preventing Adolescent Substance Use Risk Factors in a Middle School Setting: A Preliminary Group-Randomized Controlled Trial

Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Bethany ButzerSat Bir S Khalsa


Adolescence is a key developmental period for preventing substance use initiation, however prevention programs solely providing educational information about the dangers of substance use rarely change adolescent substance use behaviors. Recent research suggests that mind-body practices such as yoga may have beneficial effects on several substance use risk factors, and that these practices may serve as promising interventions for preventing adolescent substance use. The primary aim of the present study was to test the efficacy of yoga for reducing substance use risk factors during early adolescence. Seventh-grade students in a public school were randomly assigned by classroom to receive either a 32-session yoga intervention (n = 117) in place of their regular physical education classes or to continue with physical-education-as-usual (n = 94). Participants (63.2 % female; 53.6 % White) completed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires assessing emotional self-regulation, perceived stress, mood impairment, impulsivity, substance use willingness, and actual substance use. Participants also completed questionnaires at 6-months and 1-year post-intervention. Results revealed that participants in the control condition were significan...Continue Reading


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