Mindfulness and rumination: Mediators of change in depressive symptoms? A preliminary investigation of a universal mindfulness intervention for adolescents
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Mindfulness-based interventions reduce depressive symptoms and rumination, and enhance mindfulness in adults; this non-randomised controlled feasibility study aimed to determine whether these conclusions apply to young people, and whether mindfulness and rumination mediate the effect on depressive symptoms. Participants aged 12-16 received a nine-week universal mindfulness intervention in schools delivered by trained teachers (intervention group, N = 256) or their regular school curriculum (control group, N = 266). Intervention schools were matched to control schools on key variables (publicly-funded versus private, mainstream versus special needs). Young people who received the intervention reported fewer depressive symptoms post-intervention relative to controls, which was maintained at three-month follow-up. Mindfulness and rumination were unchanged immediately after the intervention, however by follow-up, intervention participants were significantly more mindful and less likely to ruminate than controls. The extent to which young people practiced mindfulness was negatively correlated with depressive symptoms at post-intervention and follow-up, positively correlated with mindfulness at post-intervention and follow-up, and positively correlated with rumination at follow-up. This universal mindfulness intervention shows promise for reducing depressive symptoms, reducing rumination and increasing mindfulness in young people, however further research is warranted, particularly regarding the mechanisms of change.
Doctor of Clinical Psychology
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