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Keywords:

  • Meditation;
  • adolescent;
  • incarcerated

Background

We examined the experiences of incarcerated adolescent males (N = 29) who participated in a one-day meditation retreat and 10-week meditation programme.

Method

Self-report surveys assessing mindfulness, self-regulation, impulsivity and stress; behavioural assessments; and focus group data were examined.

Results

We observed significantly higher scores in self-regulation (= .012) and psychometric markers demonstrated psychological enhancement. No behavioural change was observed. Six themes emerged: enhanced well-being, increased self-discipline, increased social cohesiveness, expanded self-awareness, resistance to meditation and future meditation practice.

Conclusions

Early evidence suggests that meditation training for incarcerated youth is a feasible and promising intervention.