Which aspects of mindfulness are important to include in adolescent interventions?
Despite widespread enthusiasm to adopt universal mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for youth, high-quality evidence is still lacking. It remains unknown how best to modify the successful adult curricula to render them accessible for young people but still effective. Specifically, it is unclear whether particular elements of mindfulness are key ingredients. The aim of this research was to identify the relation between aspects of baseline mindfulness and longitudinal trajectories related to well-being in adolescence.Method:
We examined associations between eight aspects of mindfulness at baseline and longitudinal trajectories of depression, anxiety, well-being, weight concern and shape concern over a 12-month period in early adolescents (N = 499; 46% female; Mage at baseline 13.45 years; SD = .33).Results:
We found a transdiagnostic protective effect for those high in Accepting and Nonjudgmental Orientation, Decentering and Nonreactivity and Acting with Awareness, with effect sizes across the variables ranging from small to large (Cohen's d = .29-1.26) although this benefit reduced over time, especially for weight and shape concerns in girls.Conclusion:
This natural but waning protective effect strengthens the case for MBIs in youth. The isolation of three key elements is an important preliminary step in identifying ways to improve the effectiveness of current adolescent curricula. Of the three, the current study suggests that teaching young adolescents to respond to their mistakes with kindness and non-judgement should be a prime focus.