Methods: Participants (N=188) were recruited from a local public high school in a large multi-ethnic urban school district. A 6-week program consisting of weekly hour-long sessions were conducted at school. The program curriculum was developed using evidenced-based mindfulness exercises and a standardized yoga curriculum that our research team developed for a previous study. Participants completed assessments at two time points (Baseline and 4 weeks after completing the program curriculum). Assessments included questions related to age, race/ethnicity, depression, anxiety, stress, and frequency of physical and mindfulness related activities.
Results: Participants average age was 15.19 years (SD=1.30). Most of the participants were female (64%) and identified as Hispanic (95%). At posttest, repeated measures ANOVAs revealed significant reductions in anxiety symptomatology from baseline to post (F (1, 189) =8.26, p=0.005), as well as, a reduction in stress from baseline to post (F (1, 186) =47.74, p<.001). Additionally, reductions in depressive symptomatology from baseline to post approached significance (F (1, 159) =3.83, p=0.05).
Conclusions: These findings provide support for the efficacy of mind-body interventions for improving the psychological well-being of racial/ethnic minority youth. This study also highlights the importance of addressing health disparities through greater access to and utilization of innovative prevention techniques among underserved minority youth.