Response to a mindful self-compassion intervention in teens: A within-person association of mindfulness, self-compassion, and emotional well-being outcomes

J Adolesc. 2017 Jun:57:108-118. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.04.001. Epub 2017 Apr 14.


As adolescence can be a stressful developmental stage, the purpose of this study was to determine if a novel mindful self-compassion program would decrease stress, depressive symptoms, and anxiety and increase resilience, gratitude, and curiosity/exploration (positive risk-taking), and to ascertain if mindfulness and self-compassion co-varied with these outcomes over time. Forty-seven adolescents in the southeast U.S. enrolled in an 8-week mindful self-compassion course in five cohorts. Measures were assessed at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 6-week follow-up. Multilevel growth analyses revealed main effects of time on perceived stress, resilience, curiosity/exploration and gratitude. Additionally, both mindfulness and self-compassion co-varied with perceived stress and depressive symptoms; mindfulness also co-varied with anxiety and self-compassion co-varied with resilience and curiosity/exploration. Implications of these findings are that this program has potential in decreasing stress and increasing resilience and positive risk-taking. Future studies with a control group need to be conducted to confirm these findings.

Keywords: Adolescents; Emotional well-being; Intervention; Mindfulness; Self-compassion; Stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development*
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires