Abstract: A Community-University Partnership to Implement Mindfulness-Based Strategies to Prevent Burnout in Juvenile Justice Facilities (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

112 A Community-University Partnership to Implement Mindfulness-Based Strategies to Prevent Burnout in Juvenile Justice Facilities

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Garden Room A (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Sebrina L. Doyle, M.S., Assistant Research Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Elaine Berrena, M.Ed., Research Technologist, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Mark Agrusti, B.S., Consultant- Mindfulness & Meditation Specialist, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
Lois George Huling, B.A., Director of Administrative Services, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Harrisburg, PA
Laurie George, B.A., Policy, Program & Staff Development Manager, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Danville, PA
Zachary Johnson, B.S., Human Service Program Specialist, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Loysville, PA
Staff working in residential juvenile justice facilities have very challenging and stressful jobs. They provide services 24 hours a day for youth who are often suffering from the impacts of trauma, in an environment with the potential for violence. Working with this population can take a toll on staff, leading to increased psychological distress and burnout (Gould et. al., 2013). In order to combat the effects of job stress, a partnership was formed between Penn State University and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services (BJJS) to create an intervention that harnessed mindfulness-based techniques that could be implemented in the workplace.

Utilizing input of the trainers, staff, and management from BJJS facilities, the 12-hour Mindful Awareness Program (MAP) for Wellness was created. Program hand-off was structured to maximize successful uptake by initially training BJJS staff trainers in mindful awareness practices, then having them assist with pilot implementation of the program alongside University trainers. Currently BJJS trainers are running MAP trainings independently with fidelity observation and feedback from the University trainers. During the pilot year, seven trainings were offered to staff and management separately at five residential facilities. In total, 80 staff members participated; 59% were male with a mean age of 40. The program was well received: 95% of BJJS staff indicated overall satisfaction with the training, 94% of staff agreed/strongly agreed they would use concepts and activities taught in their life and work, and 94% felt that this type of training is important for professional development and said they would recommend this training to a co-worker.

BJJS staff completed surveys in May 2017 before trainings were delivered, and again after the pilot trainings in May 2018 to evaluate mental health, stress and coping; 107 staff participated in both waves, 40 had received the MAP training. Pilot results indicated that MAP participants showed significant differences from those who did not participate on levels of burnout (F=4.53, p<.05). Participating staff showed a slight decrease in burnout, while those did not participate reported increased burnout over the year. Further, although there were no significant changes in subjective reports of stress at work, MAP participants indicated marginally significantly lower levels of subjective stress at home than staff who had not participated (F=3.07, p=.08). These results indicate that training staff in mindful awareness practices may help stave off burnout and reduce the impact of work stress on home life.