Meditation training programs for adolescents are predicated on the assumptions that mindfulness and self-compassion can be directly cultivated, and further, that doing so is beneficial for emotional well-being. Yet, very little research with adolescents has tested these assumptions directly. In the current study, I examined longitudinal relationships between changes in mindfulness and self-compassion and changes in emotional well-being among healthy, but stressed adolescents who participated in five-day, intensive meditation retreats. Immediately before and after the retreats, and then three months later, 132 adolescents (Mage = 16.76 years, 61% female) completed questionnaires measuring mindfulness, self-compassion, and emotional well-being. Repeated measures ANOVA showed adolescents improved in mindfulness, self-compassion, and all indices of emotional well-being immediately following the retreat (Cohen's d = |0.39-1.19|), and many of these improvements were maintained three months later (Cohen's d = |0.04-0.68|). Further, multilevel growth curve analyses with time-varying covariates indicated within-person changes in self-compassion predicted enhanced emotional well-being more consistently than within-person changes in mindf...Continue Reading
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