Spirituality Development for Homeless Youth: A Mindfulness Meditation Feasibility Pilot
- 1.6k Downloads
Few resilience enhancement interventions are available to help homeless youth at high risk for mental health problems and substance abuse. Mindfulness meditation has demonstrated effectiveness in persons who deal with some of these issues. Our purpose was to examine the feasibility of delivering a spirituality development class—a minimally modified version of Yale University’s 8-session Spiritual Self-Schema (3-S) program—to homeless youth in a shelter in an urban center in the Southeastern United States. We used a quasi-experimental, one group, pre- and post-intervention design with standardized self-report measures of impulsiveness, resilience, spirituality, mental wellness, and psychological symptoms. Seventy-one youth enrolled in the study; 39 of the youth attended at least four sessions of the class and completed the posttest. The spirituality development class was well received by the youth and, overall, participants demonstrated improvement on measures of spirituality, mental wellness, psychological symptoms, and resilience on the posttest. There were no statistically meaningful changes in impulsiveness scores. We concluded that mindfulness meditation programs are feasible for this population. Future studies of high-risk youth should use a randomized controlled trial design to examine the long-term impact of such training on psychological status and behavioral outcomes such as educational path, work attainment, and drug and alcohol abuse.
KeywordsAdolescents Meditation Psychological resilience Homeless youth Spirituality
This research was funded by the Office of University-Community Partnerships of Emory University. The authors would like to acknowledge the support of Ms. Connie Buchanan and Drs. Arthur Margolin, Terence Chorba, Bonnie Jennings, and Nancy J. Thompson. The 3-S training program may be accessed at www.3-s.us and the YESSS version at http://www.nursing.emory.edu/directory/profile.cfm?PEOPLE_NUMBER=621.
- Beitel, M., Genova, M., Schuman-Olivier, Z., Arnold, R., Avants, S. K., & Margolin, A. (2007). Reflections by inner-city drug users on a Buddhist-based spirituality-focused therapy: A qualitative study. The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77, 1–9. doi: 10.1037/0002-9418.104.22.168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bowen, S., Chawla, N., Collins, S. E., Witkiewitz, K., Hsu, S., Grow, J., et al. (2009). Mindfulness-based relapse prevention for substance use disorders: A pilot efficacy trial. Substance abuse: Official publication of the association for medical education and research in substance abuse, 30, 295–305. doi: 10.1080/08897070903250084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cleverley, K., & Kidd, S. A. (2010). Resilience and suicidality among homeless youth. Journal of Adolescence. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.11.003.
- Derogatis, L. R. (2001). The Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18): Administration, scoring and procedures manual. Minneapolis: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Feldman, G., Greeson, J., & Senville, J. (2010). Differential effects of mindful breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and loving-kindness meditation on decentering and negative reactions to repetitive thoughts. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48, 1002–1011. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.06.006.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gross, C. R., Kreitzer, M. J., Reilly-Spong, M., Wall, M., Winbush, N. Y., Patterson, R., et al. (2011). Mindfulness-based stress reduction versus pharmacotherapy for chronic primary insomnia: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Explore (New York, NY), 7, 76–87. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2010.12.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion.Google Scholar
- Kerrigan, D., Johnson, K., Stewart, M., Magyari, T., Hutton, N., Ellen, J. M., et al. (2011). Perceptions, experiences, and shifts in perspective occurring among urban youth participating in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Complementary Therapies in clinical practice, 17, 96–101. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.08.003.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Margolin, A., Schuman-Olivier, Z., Beitel, M., Arnold, R. M., Fulwiler, C. E., & Avants, S. K. (2007). A preliminary study of spiritual self-schema (3-S(+)) therapy for reducing impulsivity in HIV-positive drug users. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63, 979–999. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20407.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McCay, E., Langley, J., Beanlands, H., Cooper, L., Mudachi, N., Harris, A., et al. (2010). Mental health challenges and strengths of street-involved youth: The need for a multi-determined approach. The Canadian Journal of Nursing Research = Revue Canadienne de Recherche en Sciences Infirmieres, 42, 30–49.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Milburn, N. G., Batterham, P., Ayala, G., Rice, E., Solorio, R., Desmond, K., et al. (2010). Discrimination and mental health problems among homeless minority young people. Public Health Reports (Washington, D.C.): 1974), 125, 61–67.Google Scholar
- Rew, L., Taylor-Seehafer, M., Thomas, N. Y., & Yockey, R. D. (2001). Correlates of resilience in homeless adolescents. Journal of Nursing Scholarship: An Official Publication of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing/Sigma Theta Tau, 33, 33–40.Google Scholar
- Rosenzweig, S., Greeson, J. M., Reibel, D. K., Green, J. S., Jasser, S. A., & Beasley, D. (2010). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic pain conditions: Variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 68, 29–36.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wang, J., Kelly, B. C., Booth, B. M., Falck, R. S., Leukefeld, C., & Carlson, R. G. (2010). Examining factorial structure and measurement invariance of the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI)-18 among drug users. Addictive Behaviors, 35, 23–29. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.08.003.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Werner, E., & Smith, R. (1982). Vulnerable but invincible. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar