MBA Project’s Mindfulness Training for Incarcerated Youth Yields Effective Results

PDN Member Project ~ Khyentse Foundation, March 2012

Chris McKenna, MBA’s executive director, writes, “It’s impossible to overstate the significance of the KF grant. We know of no other project in the world right now where a research hospital, a juvenile justice system, and a community-based nonprofit are teaming up to deliver contemplative practice programming to at-risk, gang-involved, and incarcerated adolescents.”

Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland (CHRCO) referred more than 150 adolescents in Alameda County’s juvenile hall and long-term detention camp to MBA’s meditation program. MBA evaluated 92 teenagers for their study.

After completing the program, participants demonstrated statistically significant reductions in perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep difficulties, and a corresponding increase in healthy self-regulation. They reported feeling more able to relax, to feel good about themselves, and to sleep. Participants also said that they were more in control of their emotions, thinking, and behavior, and they had a greater awareness of themselves and the present moment.

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