Santa Lucia - Neurosciences and Rehabilitation Sapienza University of Rome

Behav Sci (Basel). 2022 Feb 2;12(2):33. doi: 10.3390/bs12020033

Effects of mind-body interventions on adolescents' cooperativeness and emotional symptoms

Background: Mind-body interventions may support the development of adolescents' self-regulation and provide a protective effect against maladaptive outcomes, e.g., internalizing and externalizing problems. The present study aimed at evaluating the effects of mindfulness-oriented meditation training (MOM) and autogenic training (AT) on a group of healthy Italian adolescents' character dimensions, emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Methods: 72 adolescents were randomly assigned to MOM/AT conditions and tested before and after the 8-week trainings through self-report measures (Temperament and Character Inventory 125, TCI; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire for Adolescents, SDQ-A). Main analyses involved robust and repeated measures ANOVAs, carried out separately for character TCI and SDQ-A scales.

Results: After trainings, we found increased levels of cooperativeness and reduced emotional symptoms. Changes in these dimensions were negatively correlated: the more participants increased in their cooperativeness the greater decrease they showed in emotional symptoms.

Conclusion: Both MOM and AT enhanced a cooperative attitude in adolescents and helped reducing their emotional problems. Therefore, it may be useful to apply these mind-body interventions in school settings as they can have a protective effect on the well-being and psychosocial adjustment of youths, through fostering their character maturity and helping them to better regulate their emotions.

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