Effects of the Youth Empowerment Seminar on impulsive behavior in adolescents

J Adolesc Health. 2013 Jul;53(1):139-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.02.010. Epub 2013 Apr 16.


Purpose: Because impulsivity during adolescence predicts health-risk behaviors and associated harm, interventions that attenuate impulsivity may offer protection. We evaluated effects of the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!), a biopsychosocial workshop for adolescents that teaches skills of stress management, emotion regulation, conflict resolution, and attentional focus, on impulsive behavior.

Methods: High school students (14-18 years of age) in the United States participated in YES! during their physical education classes. Students in a control group attended their usual curriculum and were tested in parallel. We used items from the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (framed to reflect recent behavior) to assess students' behavior before and after they underwent the program.

Results: Compared with the control group, YES! participants reported less impulsive behavior after the program.

Conclusions: The results suggest that YES! can promote mental health in adolescents, potentially protecting them from harmful coping behaviors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / prevention & control*
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Risk-Taking
  • Young Adult