At-risk behaviors are related to poor outcomes among adolescents. Adolescence as a vital time for stress reduction to
reduce risk and improve mental health. The purpose of this abstact is to describe qualitative interviews of participants regarding their experiences with
mindfulness(MC) as compared to attention only(AC) interventions using the participant's voice. Clinical decision making strategies will be presented.
Twenty-three students participated. Open-ended questions were asked before and after completion of 6 week
interventions. Interview questions included:What two words or phrases best describe you?What distracts you?How do
you manage your stress? Responses were independently coded.
MC students were happy, mad and angry. Post-test they were positive being happy, excited, and relaxed.T he AC
group had mixed emotions, negative emotions such as mad, irked and annoyed remained unchanged. Both indicated
auditory interruptions affecting concentration. Distractions were unchanged:people laughing, noises and talking. The
MC group used techniques taught in the mindfulness intervention. In post-test, the MC group dealt with stress by
listening (to music), body scans, breathing and meditating. The AC group did not demonstrate a change. They
managed stress by ‘screaming, yelling, hitting and taking it out on 'stuff’.
In program evaluation, MC participants referred to specific techniques breathing, paying attention, using silence and
listening to music to achieve calm. AC participants focused on the impact. The AC intervention included talking, being
able to express true self and getting stress out. A useful aspect of the interventions was learning how to control stress
and the support they received from the instructors. Students mentioned wanting to get outside, not having enough
space. Students had an acute awareness of others in the group.
Clinically significant is that girls in the MC were able to learn, use and identify specific strategies such as breathing,
listening and meditating to reduce stress. Common barriers to stress reduction were auditory distractions and lack of
space. Providers can implement knowledge into clinical decision making by providing an opportunity in the inpatient
and primary care setting for adolescents to have quiet time and listen to music.
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