Mindfulness, Self-Compassion and Family Well-Being Conference Agenda


Pre-conference, October 18

Location: Kincaid Hall, University of Washington

12:30 – 4:00 PM: Pre-Conference Meeting.
4:00 – 6:00 PM: Reception

Conference Day 1, October 19

Location: Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington

8:00 AM: Breakfast
8:30 AM: Mindfulness practice
9:15 AM: Opening/Welcome
9:30 AM: Keynote Address with Susan Bögels, Ph.D.
10:45 AM: Symposium: Mindfulness research and practice with underserved families and communities, Chair Julie Poehlman
12:15 PM: Lunch
1:30 PM: Symposium: Mindfulness and Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health and Well-Being, Chair Tara Chaplin
3:00 PM: Coffee break
3:15 PM: Flash Talk Presentations
5:15 PM: Adjourn

Conference Day 2, October 20

Location: Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington

8:00 AM: Breakfast
8:30 AM: Mindfulness Practice
9:15 AM: Symposium: Mindfulness, parent perinatal mental health and parenting, Chair Stephanie Thompson
11:00 AM: Symposium: Mindfulness and Behavioral Parenting, Chair Justin Parent
12:30 PM: Lunch
1:45 PM: Symposium: Supporting the well-being, resilience and social-emotional skills of providers who work with children and families, Chair Liliana Lengua
3:30 PM: Closing Keynote Address with Nirbhay Singh, Ph.D.
4:30 PM: Closing discussion 
5:00 PM: Adjourn


Pre-conference Panel

Innovative Approaches to Mindfulness Measurement for Families, Schools, and Communities

There has been a surge in mindfulness research, but little attention has been given to measurement tools for research with children and families. This meeting will provide researchers an opportunity to discuss assessment tools employed in such research. The short-term goal is to begin discussion of the possibility of creating a Mindfulness Research Toolbox so that measures are inexpensive to obtain, easy to administer (within a relatively brief time frame), appropriate to the population being studied, and able to capture multiple relevant domains in the areas of adult and child mindfulness, mindful parenting, self-compassion, and individual and family well-being. The long-term goal is to stimulate research in the area of mindfulness with children, families, and communities and harmonize measures across studies when possible.

  • David Victorson, PhD, Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Research Faculty at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine
  • Almut Zieher, PhD (Yale University), Kylie Anglin, PhD (University of Connecticut), and Corissa Mazurkiewicz, PhD (Pacific University)
  • Jennifer N. Baumgartner, PhD, Program Director at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Keynote Presentations


Susan Bögels, Ph.D.

Susan Bögels, Ph.D., Professor of Family Mental Health and Mindfulness at the University of Amsterdam, psychotherapist, specializing in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and mindfulness for children and their families, founder and director of UvA Minds, an academic treatment clinic for parents and children in Amsterdam. Bögels’ main research themes are the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology and mindfulness for parents and children.

Mindfulness in the life cycle of families: A developmental and relational perspective »

Families, and their members, are constantly evolving and going through different life phases: from desire for a partner/co-parent to all phases of partnership/co-parenting, including the relationship with ex-partners and the empty nest. From desire for a baby to pregnancy, childbirth, baby, toddler, child, adolescent, young adult, adult child, their partner, grandchild. Families are faced with opportunities and threats along the way: school/work-related, social/relational, physical and mental health-related, and environmental. For parents, their family of origin can be a source of support and strength, but also a source of trauma and suffering. Experience is passed on to next generations, both the strengths and learnings, as trauma and suffering when there is no space to heal.

This is where mindfulness can play an important role, helping parents to become aware of what is being triggered by their child (or partner/co-parent), and heal their inner child, thereby relating to their current family in a new way. Mindfulness, practiced in a systemic context, therefore not only has a positive effect on (the relationship to) our own complaints, such as anxiety, depression or ADHD, but also on the relationship with family members, such as with children and partner/co-parent, and their complaints.

I will demonstrate this system perspective using data from research on mindfulness for families, on mindful parenting, on mindfulness for mothers with their baby or infant, and finally on mindfulness for pregnant couples.


Nirbhay Singh, Ph.D.

Nirbhay Singh, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, CEO of MacTavish Behavioral Health, LLC in Raleigh, NC, and current or past editor of three international Journals (Mindfulness, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders)

Mindful Parenting: Being Present for Yourself, Your Children, and Your Family »

Parenting is a ubiquitous task that we engage in almost without a second thought and then find how formidable it is. Mindful parenting has been espoused by mindfulness teachers and researchers over the last 25 years as a valued activity that focuses on the emotional, intuitive, and deeply personal experience of being kind, loving, and compassionate parents. The approach is rooted in sati, our lifelong friend mindfulness, which guides us on a moment-by-moment basis in executing this and all other endeavors in this life until our breath turns into air. This keynote will focus on the historical development of mindful parenting that began as a trickle, then slowly became a minor stream, and is now on its way to merging with the ocean. It will provide a nuanced view of the rapidly growing field of mindful parenting, as well as cast a critical eye on its shortcomings. The final emphasis will be on where the field is heading and where it could broaden its research view and, most importantly, how current research can be translated into practice within a public health model of community care for parents and their children.

Symposia Presentations


Mindfulness research and practice with underserved families and communities

Chair: Julie Poehlman, Ph.D.
Discussant: Sarah Short, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin, Madison / Department of Educational Psychology and Center for Healthy Minds

Engaging Families with a Mindfulness-based Early-childhood Behavioral Parenting Program that Promotes Parent and Child Well-being in High-risk Contexts »


Objectives: Three studies were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief (6-week) mindfulness-based behavioral parenting program designed to be offered in community settings to parents of infant and preschool-age children living in low-income or high-adversity contexts. The program. SEACAP, includes behavioral parenting, DBT emotion regulation, mindfulness and self-compassion practices.

Methods: Study 1 was part of a larger study offering new mothers an in-person parenting program when infants were 2-4 months (N=52). All mothers were living in a low-income context. Study 2 was a quasi-experimental, waitlist control study conducted in person with parents living in low-income contexts with children attending Head-start or similar early childhood program (N=52). Study 3 evaluated the program when it was delivered synchronously online with parents living in transitional housing or who were unhoused whose children attended an early learning program (N=28). The samples were racially and ethnically diverse (across the 3 studies): 28% African American or Black, 10% Asian American, 25% Latine or Hispanic, 6% Native American or Alaska Native, 1% Pacific Islander, 28% White, 2% other. Assessments included parent-report of mindfulness, mental health symptoms, parenting and child social competence, internalizing and externalizing problems. Study 1 and 2 also included observational ratings of parenting behaviors. Engagement efforts included offering compensation for attendance, offering the programs at sites where families were already receiving services, collaborating with community sites in scheduling the offerings, providing food and childcare.

Results: Participants in the three studies showed program related improvements in maternal mental health symptoms, observed parenting, and child adjustment. Satisfaction with the program was high in the three studies. Attendance rates in the infant study were very low (36%), and attendance in the preschool interventions improved from 59% in Study 2 to 71% in Study 3 when the program was delivered online.

Conclusions: Promising preliminary results suggest that this brief mindfulness-based behavioral parenting program can be effective in improving maternal mental health, parenting behaviors, and children’s adjustment. The program is acceptable to parents and feasibly implemented both in person and online in community settings with parents in low-income contexts. However, improved engagement efforts to enhance access could include more flexible scheduling to work with families’ difficult work schedules, more support for transportation, increased opportunities for individual in-person contact with facilitators to tailor program content, increased time for families to engage and connect with each other to build community.


Presenting author: Michele R. Smith, M.S., M.Ed., Ph.D. candidate, University of Washington

Co-author(s): Dannielle Whiley, Ph.D. candidate; Stephanie F. Thompson, Ph.D.; Liliana J. Lengua, Ph.D.

Awareness and Acceptance: Lessons Learned from Mindfulness Program Evaluation »


This presentation will highlight how the essential elements of mindfulness (awareness and acceptance) can play an important role in program evaluation. Specifically, the talk will provide an overview of an ongoing evaluation of a school-based mindfulness program that has been evolving since 2015. The CASEL-endorsed Inner Strength program has served over 16,000 inner city high school students in Philadelphia and has been integrated into diverse school climates. The challenges and turns that the evaluation faced along the way, both pre- and post-pandemic, will be shared along with solutions that required awareness and acceptance with respect to implementation and assessment.


Presenting author: Rachel Razza, Ph.D., Syracuse University


Children learning mindfulness within Head Start programs: Working with teachers and parents »


This presentation will describe Project CaLM (Children Learning Mindfulness). This was a pilot project implemented in Head Start programs serving racially and ethnically diverse children and families. Using a participatory action research approach, researchers and teachers examined how mindfulness techniques could be integrated into classroom routines. Guided by a similar approach, parent workshops on teaching preschoolers sleep routines and mindfulness practices were designed and conducted with these Head Start programs during the years following the implementation of Project CaLM. The development of relationships with site directors and teachers will be described. The Project CaLM logic model as well as components and materials of the intervention and workshops will be outlined. In addition, results from limited-efficacy testing and examination of Project CaLM’s implementation will be reviewed. Although these analyses lacked adequate statistical power, when comparing the well-being of children who did and did not receive the intervention, most results were in the expected direction, but were non-significant. Still, findings show that teachers generally implemented Project CaLM at greater frequencies and duration than expected. Furthermore, acceptability of the intervention as well as demand for such an intervention will be discussed, based on surveys and open-ended questions posed to teachers and parents. Results revealed favorable views of and interest in mindfulness practices. Future research should consider extending Project CaLM in terms of sample size and context. Discussion of Project CaLM and its subsequent workshops will address the challenges faced by researchers. The presentation will conclude by situating this work and related research and practice within the broader context of current discussions held by scholars such as Thema Bryant, Ph.D. and Shelly Harrell, Ph.D. in the field of psychology and Michael Yellow Bird Ph.D. in the field of social work regarding mindfulness, decolonization, and the dismantling of systemic racism.


Presenting author: Christine Pajunar Li-Grining, Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago

Co-author(s): Elizabeth Vera, Ph.D., Linda Janusek, Ph.D., Karen Saban, Ph.D., Yarina Liston, Ph.D., Zahra Naqi, M.A., and Mackenzie Troske, Ed.S.


Mindfulness, parent perinatal mental health and parenting

Chair: Stephanie Thompson, Ph.D. ABPP

Adaptation of resource-based frameworks to optimize perinatal mental health and well-being: The role of psychological capital »


Background: Depression and anxiety during pregnancy is associated with a constellation of detrimental maternal and child health outcomes. Psychological resources (e.g., hope, optimism, self-efficacy, resilience collectively referred to as psychological capital or psycap) and social resources (e.g., social support, social capital) may aggregate and interact during the perinatal period to collectively influence prenatal, birth and postpartum outcomes. Unfortunately, individuals facing low socioeconomic status experience disproportionately high rates of poor perinatal mental health, have fewer resources and have a decreased ability to replenish resources over time. The “Resource Capacity Model” highlights how these resource deficiencies contribute to associations between socioeconomic disadvantage and physical and mental health outcomes. As resources travel in caravans and collectively impact mental health and well-being, a “shotgun” approach in which individuals practice cultivating multiple protective factors across the perinatal period may be more effective than focusing on one particular resource.
Methods: Pregnant individuals living in Colorado are currently being recruited using non-probability purposive sampling techniques (n=300). Individuals who meet the following criteria are eligible: 1) 8-12 weeks gestational age, 2) >=18 years of age, 3) English- or Spanish-speaking, 4) experiencing at least one risk factor related to socioeconomic disadvantage. Mixed-methods data are being collected at four timepoints, the majority of which align with standard of care appointments: 1st trimester, 3rd trimester, 6-weeks postpartum, and 12-weeks postpartum. We are currently investigating point-estimates of psycap at all four timepoints followed by latent growth modeling and growth mixture modeling to explore psycap trajectories. Regression modeling is being used to investigate cross-sectional associations between the four psycap constructs, social resources and depression, anxiety, and well-being, controlling for birth outcomes and covariates. All analyses are being conducted with Mplus Version 8.
Results: The final logistic regression model predicting prenatal depression risk was statistically significant, X2 (7, N = 266) = 30.11, p < .01. Age, race, ethnicity, and marital status were not associated with depression risk. Higher levels of optimism were associated with lower odds of experiencing prenatal depression compared to lower levels of optimism (OR=.82, 95% CI [.72, .92]). Individuals with more social support also had lower odds of experiencing depression compared to individuals with less social support (OR=.98, 95% CI [.96, .99]). The final logistic regression model predicting anxiety risk was statistically significant, X2 (7, N = 266) = 17.14, p = .02). Age, race, ethnicity, and marital status were not associated with anxiety risk. Higher levels of optimism were associated with lower odds of experiencing anxiety compared to lower levels of optimism (OR=.89, 95%CI [.79, .99]).
Conclusions: These preliminary findings have significant implications for the development of strengths-based interventions to promote perinatal well-being. Mindfulness and optimism are psychological constructs that have been shown to be strongly correlated and collectively associated with mental health; therefore, evidence-based mindfulness interventions that integrate positive psychology strategies focusing on the cultivation of psychological and social resources targeted towards low-resourced pregnant individuals may help to mitigate the risk for experiencing perinatal mood disorders and promote the intergenerational transmission of resilience.


Presenting author: Charlotte Farewell, Ph.D., University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus


Leveraging Pregnancy for Two-Generation Prevention: Prenatal Mindfulness Intervention Effects on Maternal Mental Health and Infant Reactivity and Regulation »


Developmental Origins of Health and Disease research has established that maternal prenatal distress heightens risk for health problems in women and their offspring. Much less is known about “positive” programming effects, such as whether scalable interventions during pregnancy might both prevent harm and benefit women and their children.
To address this gap, we conducted a series of studies to investigate the effects of an 8-week, group-based prenatal mindfulness-based stress-reduction intervention (Mindful Moms Training) on maternal and child health outcomes. A diverse, prospective sample of predominantly low-income mothers were assigned to Mindful Moms Training (MIND) or treatment-as-usual (TAU) in pregnancy and followed postnatally. Leveraging the established efficacy of the intervention at reducing maternal stress and depression across pregnancy and through 6 months postpartum, we examined whether maternal effects were sustained throughout an 8-year period, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether the intervention benefitted offspring biological and behavioral development.
Individuals followed postnatally (N=162) did not differ from the original intervention sample (N = 215) on demographics or key study variables (36% Black, 17% White, 2% Asian/American Indian, 46% Mixed Race/Other; 40% Hispanic). MIND (N=89) and TAU (N=73) groups were equivalent on all sociodemographic factors except gestational age at enrollment and duration between baseline and some follow-up assessments. Separate linear mixed effects and generalized linear mixed effects models were used to examine treatment group differences in: 1) maternal depression (PHQ-9 at postnatal 1-, 2-, 3.5-, 5-, 6-, and 8 years), and 2) 6-month infant outcomes (sympathetic nervous system indicator, pre-ejection period; coded self-regulatory behavior during the Still Face challenge).
Baseline maternal depressive symptoms did not differ between MIND and TAU. Symptoms at all follow-up assessments through 8 years were significantly lower among women in MIND compared TAU (Bs= -1.31 to -3.69, ps<.01; mean differences = -1.9 to -3.2, ps<.05). By the 8-year mark, the mindfulness group reported a lower prevalence of moderate or more severe depressive symptoms (12% vs. 25%). For offspring, relative to those in the TAU group, infants in the intervention group showed robust sympathetic activation and subsequent recovery across a stress task (whereas TAU infants showed delays), as well as higher proportions of self-regulatory behavior during the challenge.
Findings provide evidence that maternal participation in a low-cost, short-term mindfulness-based intervention during pregnancy is associated with consistent, sustained improvements in women’s depression through 8 years (including during COVID), as well as the development of biobehavioral reactivity and regulation in their infants. Our findings from this diverse, understudied sample suggest a modest investment during pregnancy may benefit two generations.


Presenting author: Nicole Bush, PhD, and Amanda Noroña-Zhou, PhD, UCSF Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics, Center for Health and Community

Co-author(s): Danielle Roubinov, PhD, Michael Coccia, MAS, Karen Jones-Mason, PhD, JD, MSW, Kim Coleman-Phox, MPH, Abbey Alkon, RN, PhD, Cassandra Vieten, PhD, Barbara Laraia, PhD, MPH, RD, Nancy Adler, PhD, and Elissa Epel, PhD

Feasibility and acceptability of mindfulness-based groups for peripartum families experiencing low-income: An online, task-sharing approach to a scalable prevention programming »


Although limited in number and size, RCTs examining mindfulness-based interventions carried out during pregnancy or the early postpartum support the effectiveness of these intervention efforts on maternal mental health and parenting behaviors. However, additional evidence suggests that these effects may not be as robust in samples of women living in the context of low income, where existing support efforts may be cost intensive and difficult to scale. In addition, there are practical barriers to accessing such interventions by families living in the context of low income. In an initial study conducted by this research team, we found effects of peripartum mindfulness and parenting programs in supporting the mental health and parenting practices of new moms living in the context of low income. Classes were rated as highly acceptable and satisfying, however, levels of group intervention attendance were low. Qualitative interviews suggested that an online program would address participation barriers. The current study presents preliminary findings surrounding program acceptability and feasibility of an online adaptation of the postpartum parenting intervention, finding high levels of class satisfaction in the online format and high levels of attendance among enrolled participants. Recruitment for the intervention was challenging, despite recruitment partnerships with community organizations. Overall, findings support the potential benefits of task-sharing partnerships to broaden the reach of interventions to the communities who have been historically distant from such supports.


Presenting author: Stephanie F. Thompson, PhD, ABPP, University of Washington

Co-author(s): Becca Calhoun, MPH & Liliana J. Lengua, PhD


Mindfulness and Behavioral Parenting

Chair: Justin Parent, Ph.D.

The promise of mindfulness-enhanced behavioral parent training for reversing biological embedding of adversity »


The early caregiving environment plays a critical role in the development of physiological systems that regulate stress reactivity. Early experiences of adversity can influence the development of psychopathology through the biological embedding of adversity exposure via epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation (DNAm). Despite significant progress in social epigenomic research on risk processes, a basic understanding of how the biological embedding of adversity can be prevented or reversed has yet to be achieved. There is little understanding of the role of protective factors that impact these developmental trajectories. However, biological and behavioral plasticity during early development presents a uniquely sensitive period for early intervention to reverse the biological effects of disruptions in the early caregiving environment and promote lifelong well-being. This presentation highlights three primary studies that have implications for the potential of mindfulness-enhanced behavioral parent training (BPT) to prevent or reduce the biological embedding of adversity. First, prospective longitudinal findings on how parental mindfulness can promote adaptive parenting practices and improve coparenting relationships are reviewed. Next, recent results on how parental mindfulness can impact the initial efficacy of BPT as well as the long-term maintenance of outcomes are presented. Finally, emerging findings are introduced on how increasing observed positive parenting or decreasing negative parenting through BPT may reduce or prevent adversity-related epigenetic age acceleration in young children from predominately ethnic/racial minoritized backgrounds. The results show that BPT has an impact on DNAm of a range of stress-related gene pathways, including the HPA-axis, oxytocin, and inflammation systems. The presentation will conclude with potential future directions to explore how mindfulness-enhanced BPT could establish a biological foundation that promotes resiliency and prevents the development of psychopathology.


Presenting author: Justin Parent, Ph.D., Brown University


Developing a mindfulness digital tool for divorced/separated parents »


Over 8.1 million children in the United States live in divorced/separated families. Divorce confers risks of mental health problems to children. Divorced adults report higher psychological distress, lower wellbeing and life satisfaction, and use mental health services more than non-divorced adults (Colman et al., 2012).
The New Beginnings Program (NBP) was developed and tested in three randomized controlled trials. The researchers found that the positive effects of the NBP on children’s post-divorce mental health problems persisted up to 15 years later. However, the NBP lacked such positive effects for distressed parents: children’s improvement in externalizing problems following the NBP was less likely to persist at 6 months later, when their mothers reported higher distress at baseline. The NBP also showed limited success in reducing parental psychological distress: it yielded a small effect in reducing maternal distress at posttest. These findings point to a key need to develop interventions that directly and sustainably reduce parental distress, because for high-risk families, reducing parental distress directly, which in turn strengthens improvements in child outcomes, can be more efficient than reducing parental distress indirectly via improving child outcomes.
To address these research gaps, combining mindfulness training with the NBP may yield optimized intervention effects for divorced parents who already experience distress. but that effect did not persist at follow-up.
To increase reach, the group-based NBP was adapted into electronic NBP (eNBP), a fully self-administered 10-module online program that focuses on behavioral parenting skills. A randomized controlled trial supported its feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy. Also, considering the growing interests in digital mindfulness interventions, a model of digital mindfulness-informed eNBP was developed for psychologically distressed divorced parents. In this intervention model, parents will continue their mindfulness practice during eNBP after the mindfulness intervention, to yield stronger improvements. Consistent with the parenting literature, the model highlights the role of parenting in predicting children’s post-divorce mental health. Specifically, parenting is defined to include 4 domains: parental warmth, discipline, mindful parenting, and emotion-related parenting practices.
This presentation will include the research background and report preliminary findings from the formative research phase where stakeholders including family courts, mandatory divorcing parenting class providers, and parents themselves provided important input to guide researchers in the design of online mindfulness modules.


Presenting author: Na Zhang, Ph.D., University of Connecticut


Mindfulness and Parent Stress Reduction: Implications for Parenting and Positive Child Outcomes »


Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD) typically experience high levels of parenting stress, which are associated with deleterious consequences for parent mental and physical health and child functioning. Despite urgent calls to action, parenting stress is rarely addressed directly in interventions for families of children with ASD/DD, and less so in underserved and racial/ethnic minority populations where clinical needs are greater. This paper will review the results of two recent randomized clinical trials (RCTs) examining the efficacy of mindfulness interventions for parents of children with ASD and other DDs. We will also examine the collateral benefit of parent stress-reduction following the mindfulness interventions in improving parenting behavior, decreasing child behavior problems, and optimizing parent engagement in parenting interventions, specifically behavioral parent training (BPT).

The Stress-reduction Techniques for Enhancing Parenting Skills (STEPS) Project tested the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), compared to a Psychoeducation and Support (PE) intervention, in reducing parenting stress among diverse families of preschoolers with ASD. Participants (N = 117) were randomly assigned to the MBSR or PE groups; assessments were conducted at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and 6- and 12-months post-intervention. Results indicated significant reductions in parenting stress across both the MBSR and PE intervention conditions; however, reductions in parenting stress were greater for parents in MBSR than in PE. Furthermore, the benefit of MBSR relative to PE increased over time, with significant group differences in parenting stress detected at 12-month follow-up. Additionally, comparable efficacy was observed across modalities of intervention delivery (in-person vs. online), suggesting the potential to further expand access to vital stress-reduction interventions through use of telehealth technology.

Future analyses will investigate the primary outcomes of the Partnerships in Research for Optimizing Parenting (PRO-Parenting) Project which is an RCT that investigates the potential benefit of adding a mindfulness intervention to a BPT program to enhance the efficacy of BPT. This study involves over 250 parents of young children from diverse backgrounds (N=100 monolingual Spanish-speaking) with DD, the majority of who have a diagnosis of ASD. Parents are randomly assigned to the behavioral parent training plus mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR; Kabot-Zinn, 1990; BPT-M) or behavioral parent training plus a psychoeducation control (BPT-E) condition. Both conditions included a 10-week standard BPT (McIntyre, 2008; Webster-Stratton, 2013). The BPT-M adds a 6-week MBSR and the BPT-E adds a 6-week psychoeducation control delivered prior to the standard BPT intervention. Assessments were conducted at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and 6- and 12-months post-intervention. This trial will conclude on May 31, 2023 and we plan to present the primary outcomes at this conference. Future analyses will investigate the following aims: (1) Test the efficacy of BPT-M, which adds a parent stress-reduction intervention (MBSR), compared with BPT-E (BPT + psychoeducation control), for reducing child behavior problems; (2) Examine if parenting behavior mediates the relation between intervention and child behavior problems, and (3) Determine if the improvements in parenting behavior are, in turn, mediated by reductions in parenting stress, a proximal target of the BPT-M intervention.


Presenting author: Cameron L. Neece, Ph.D., Loma Linda University

Co-author(s): Rachel Fenning, Ph.D. and Laura Lee McIntyre, Ph.D.

Why You (Seriously) Should Engage Parent-Partners in Program Co-Development »


Disrupting the transmission of stress-linked mental health inequities is increasingly understood to benefit from early intervention programs that target dual-generation (i.e. parent and child) needs. The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic offers a unique opportunity to advance the reach of such programming through advances in scalable eHealth methods, which were rapidly innovated in response to pandemic stressors. This presentation will focus on 2 mindfulness-based mental health and parenting programs developed in response to the pandemic that have benefitted from ongoing co-development with a parent-partner advisory board (PAB). The parents hold lived experience managing family mental health challenges and are not afraid to communicate when an idea is out-of-touch or impractical. Programs include the BRIDGE “Building Regulation in Dual Generations” Program, that treats maternal mental illness (MI) using Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills with a paired curriculum that promotes non-reactive and emotionally validating parenting, as well as the App-based BEAM program, developed based on identified priorities of connecting therapists and mothers in a secure online setting. Amplifying voices of parents with lived experience is underscored as critical for innovating relevant and accessible programs. Learning objectives include recommendations for successful and ethical engagement with parent-partners across settings. Audience participation is welcome and encouraged.


Presenting author: Leslie Roos, Ph.D., University of Manitoba

Co-author(s): Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen, Ph.D. and Ashley Pharazyn


Mindfulness and Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health and Well-Being

Chair: Tara Chaplin, Ph.D.

Feasibility, Acceptability and Preliminary Outcomes of Embracing Your Life: An Online Self-Compassion Program for Young Adults »


Due to the psychological toll COVID-19 has had on emerging adults, as well as normative mental health challenges of this developmental period, emerging adults are struggling more than ever with depression and loneliness. In fact, a cross-national sample reported that loneliness, anxiety, depression, and stress were highest among emerging adults compared to middle-aged adults and older adults in the first months of the pandemic. The objective of this study was to assess feasibility, acceptability and preliminary psychosocial outcomes of Embracing Your Life, a self-compassion program for emerging adults, as self-compassion is associated with less anxiety, depression, stress, and loneliness. Thirty-nine emerging adults (Mage=23.7, 67% female) enrolled in a 6-session, 90 minutes/session online self-compassion program from July 2020 to January 2022 participated in this study. This program, Embracing Your Life, is adapted from the established 8-week adult Mindful Self-Compassion program. Results indicated that Embracing Your Life was feasible; 81% of participants attended at least 5 out of 6 sessions. Qualitative feedback indicated high acceptability, indicating that the program had a warm, connected atmosphere where participants felt it was “welcoming and inclusive” and “a safe space to learn”. Participants also recommended changes to make the program more interactive, such as the use of an online discussion board. Also suggested was a weekly “roadmap” or workbook to accompany the program. Quantitative analyses revealed that participants reported significant improvements in self-compassion, resilience, loneliness, depression, stress, and emotion regulation from before to after the program. Future research studies with larger samples and control groups should be implemented both to confirm these findings and generalize them to other populations. Conclusions are that Embracing Your Life is a promising, accessible intervention that can be brought into campus counseling centers, college residence halls, and work-related wellness offerings to address the mental health of emerging adults.


Presenting author: Christine Lathren, MD, MPH, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Co-author(s): Marissa Knox, PhD

Mindfulness and College Student Mental Health »


The transition to college and young adulthood is a key phase of human development. As today’s undergraduates prepare for adulthood, they must grapple with political upheaval, movements for racial justice, the COVID pandemic, online social networks, and the climate crisis. Research has shown that, in this context, undergraduates are struggling with anxiety, depression, and loneliness at unprecedented rates. Mental health challenges and lack of belonging are associated with poor academic outcomes including challenges with retention, academic performance, and constructively addressing societal challenges today. There is evidence that mindfulness-based and other contemplative resources are well-suited to support undergraduates navigate challenges and flourish as individuals and members of thriving communities. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of our work creating and implementing an ecosystem of mindfulness-based resources for undergraduates at the University of Colorado Boulder. We highlight problems of practice, preliminary research findings, and key lessons learned for those seeking to provide mindfulness-based resources to undergraduate populations

Julia Zigarelli, PhD
Renée Crown Wellness Institute


Presenting author: Julia C. Zigarelli, Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder, Renee Crown Wellness Institute & Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Co-author(s): Sona Dimidjian, Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder, Renee Crown Wellness Institute & Department of Psychology and Neuroscience; Michele Simpson, Renee Crown Wellness Institute & College of Arts and Sciences; Caitlin McKimmy, Renee Crown Wellness Institute & Department of Psychology and Neuroscience; Kourtney Kelley, Renee Crown Wellness Institute

Dispositional Mindfulness Is Associated With Lower Psychopathology Across One Year of Adolescence »


Dispositional mindfulness has been correlated with less substance use and psychopathology, including anxiety and depression (Karyadi et al., 2014; Tomlinson et al., 2018). However, only a few studies have examined the association between mindfulness and psychopathology symptoms in adolescents or using longitudinal methods. In one initial study, Cortazar and Calvete (2019) found that adolescents’ dispositional mindfulness predicted fewer internalizing and externalizing symptoms across six months. Similarly, Royuela-Colomer et al. (2021) found that mindfulness was correlated with lower stress, depressive symptoms, and impulsivity in adolescence. However, more work is needed to understand mindfulness buffering effects during adolescence, given that adolescence is a critical period for the development of psychopathology and substance use. The present study addressed this by investigating mindfulness effects on longitudinal changes in internalizing and externalizing symptoms over one year in early to middle adolescence.
As part of a larger study of a mindful parenting intervention, one hundred 12-16 year olds (48 female, M Age = 13.92) completed self-report questionnaires on dispositional mindfulness [Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS)], substance use [Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)], and psychopathology (Youth Inventory (YI)] at four time-points (baseline, 2 month, 6 month, and 1 year follow-up). Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to estimate the impact of dispositional mindfulness at baseline on growth (from baseline through 1 year follow-up) in substance use (yes/no) and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), using four separate models. HLMs examined the effect of baseline mindfulness on both the intercept and the slope of each outcome variable. Child’s sex and age were included as covariates along with whether the parent completed a mindful parenting intervention or a control intervention.
Results from the HLM models showed a significant decrease in symptoms of GAD, MDD, and ODD across one year on average but not a significant change in substance use. Adolescents’ mindfulness at baseline had a significant effect on the intercepts and slopes for GAD, MDD, and ODD symptoms. Greater mindfulness at baseline predicted lower GAD, MDD, and ODD symptoms at baseline (intercept) and greater mindfulness at baseline predicted greater decreases in GAD, MDD, and ODD symptoms over one year.
In this sample of adolescents, mindfulness at baseline predicted decreases in symptoms of GAD, MDD, and ODD (but not substance use) over one year of follow up. The lack of findings for substance use may be due to limited growth of use in this sample and future studies with greater variability in use patterns should test mindfulness associations with substance use. Our findings for internalizing and externalizing symptoms indicate that having greater levels of mindfulness in early adolescence may buffer youth from the development of both internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Some of our decreases in symptoms may have been due to the parent mindfulness intervention, however effects of adolescents’ dispositional mindfulness on later psychopathology symptoms remained after controlling for intervention group. Overall, our findings support adolescent mindfulness as a target for prevention and treatment of psychopathology.


Presenting author: Mallory A. Kisner, M.A., George Mason University

Co-author(s): Tara M. Chaplin, Ph.D.

Mindful Self-Compassion for Transgender Teens »


Transgender adolescents often face enormous mental health challenges. Statistics show that these adolescents experience depression at a four fold higher rate than their cisgender peers; over half are diagnosed with depression and experience suicide ideation, and a third attempt suicide. Self-compassion, an internal psychological resource in which one is supportive towards oneself while recognizing the universality of experiencing difficult emotions, is associated with less depression, anxiety, stress and factors related to suicidal ideation. Furthermore, self-compassion has been shown to be modifiable, in that one can be taught self-compassion skills that strengthen and cultivate their self-compassion. In this study, Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens, an 8-session, 90 minute/session self-compassion program adapted from Mindful Self-Compassion for adults was taught online to two cohorts of transgender and gender diverse adolescents age 13-17. Participants were recruited through gender clinics, social media, community groups, and electronic flyers sent to schools. A community advisory board comprised of transgender teens, a parent of a transgender teen, transgender young adults, an LGBTQIA+ social worker in a transgender clinic, and transgender community leaders provided input on recruitment methods, tailoring the curriculum to be optimal for transgender adolescents and best methods for dissemination of study findings. Participants were assessed on various outcomes including depression, perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, self-harm, minority stressors and self-compassion pre-program, post-program, and at two month follow-up. Suicide ideation was measured pre-program, mid-program, post-program and at 2-month follow-up. Results are forthcoming.


Presenting author: Ani Bryce, BA, Barnard College

Co-author(s): Karen Bluth, PhD


Supporting the well-being, resilience and social-emotional skills of providers who work with children and families

Chair: Liliana Lengua, Ph.D.

Pathways and Possibilities: Exploring Virtual Tools to Supporting Mindfulness and Well-Being among Infant-Family Professionals »


Established neuroscience tells us that young children have the best opportunity to experience optimal health and development when they are in relationship with trusted, nurturing adults in safe, enriching, and supportive settings. When infant-family professionals are better able to manage their own stressors, more skilled at self-regulation, and more present and compassionate “in the moment” with children and parents, they are better able to build the strong, healthy relationships that help families thrive. Emerging research indicates that regular mindfulness practice can assist infant-family professionals with stress reduction, increase their ability to be present and compassionate, and increase the likelihood of building positive and warm relationships in early childhood settings. However, a central challenge many professionals encounter is that the pace and intensity of their schedule and caseload feels overwhelming—in fact, for many, it feels as though the work leaves no space for managing their responses to, and feelings about, the work.

Our efforts across ZERO TO THREE’s multi-year mindfulness initiative have worked hard to dispel this notion. We have focused on the key message that mindfulness strategies are central to both professional well-being and high-quality infant-family services. In fact, research shows that greater mindfulness practice by professionals can reduce burnout and is correlated with lower compassion fatigue—critical elements that protect passionate and talented staff and contribute to responsive services for children and families. Our work has a dual focus on the organizational structures and culture that can invite mindfulness practice as well as the individual practices that staff can use “in the moment” and across the day.

In this session, we will explore how technology—specifically a virtual community-of-practice (CoP) learning community and two specially-developed online modules centered around mindfulness practice in pediatrics—can nurture mindfulness and self-compassion among infant-family professionals. Participants will sample an activity from the module as well as experience an activity used in our Mindfulness CoP, and reflect on how these tools may be leveraged to nurture mindfulness capacity in the professionals with whom they work. Finally, we will share evaluation results from the CoP and offer tips and insights to participants on evaluating mindfulness interventions.


Presenting author: Lucianne Hackbert, PhD, ZERO TO THREE

Co-author(s): Rebecca Parlakian, MA, Ed.

Fostering Mindfulness and Wellbeing of Early Educators with the Compassion, Practice, Restoration and Relationship (CPR2) Program »


Working as an early educator (EE) is demanding and stressful (Curbow et al., 2000), with occupational burnout rates as high as 56% (Koch et al., 2015). EEs across several states have reported feelings of social isolation in both quantitative and qualitative findings (Weiland et al, 2021). Systemic inequities expose both EEs and the families they support to chronic stress. Members of the Early Childhood Innovation Network (ECIN) at Georgetown University were recently awarded a Head Start University Partnership grant from the Administration for Children ad Families to conduct the Promoting Resilience and Mental Health in Educational Settings for Early Childhood (PROMISE) Project. The partnership includes three Early Head Start (EHS) providers in the District of Columbia (DC) and is designed to develop and test the effectiveness of a culturally-responsive and comprehensive wellbeing intervention for EEs in a block-randomized clinical trial. Educators in the intervention condition are given access to an online wellness course (TeacherWISE) and their leaders participate in a community of practice to foster a center environment that supports the wellbeing of their staff. At the core of the PROMISE model is a mindfulness-based group intervention called Compassion, Practice, Restoration and Relationship (CPR2) that uses peer support, psycho-educational instruction, and mindfulness practices to promote wellbeing and mental health. This paper will focus on outcomes for CPR2 participants from the first cohort of PROMISE sites. It is hypothesized that participation in CPR2 will improve early educators’ mindfulness, social-emotional competence and resilience. In addition, participation in the group will alleviate feelings of stress and burnout.

Methods: The first PROMISE cohort includes 14 ECE sites. One intervention site delayed participation to next year. CPR2 is being delivered at each of the remaining 6 intervention sites and will be complete by July 2023. A workforce survey was collected in the summer of 2022 before the sites were randomized. A post-test survey will be collected again in the summer of 2023. Analyses for this paper will include a series of HLM that account for the clustering of staff within program site and that examine group differences on post-test scores controlling for pre-test and relevant covariates (e.g. years of experience, role). Participants are women from diverse ethnic and racial groups. Measures include: Experience in Close Relationships-Relationship Structures (ECR-RS), Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Revised Scale (CAMS-R), Professional Quality of Life (PROQOL), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Focus groups will conducted at the conclusion of the group and will contribute to the interpretation of the findings presented in this paper.

Preliminary Findings: Focus groups conducted with CPR2 participants from sites that worked with the project team during the development phase of the project reported the content delivered in the sessions was beneficial to their overall wellbeing. Participants highlighted that the group created a healing space and a sense of psychological safety that allowed them to learn strategies to combat everyday stressors and improve overall mental health. We expect the larger sample size for this paper will provide more evidence to support the power of this approach.


Presenting author: Dominique Charlot-Swilley, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

A Mindfulness-Based Resilience Program to Improve the Well-Being of Professionals and Educators »


The REAL Pro (Resilient Attitudes and Living for Professionals) program is aimed at supporting professionals and educators in cultivating stress management, coping, and emotion regulation skills, aimed at reducing burnout and increasing well-being. Sessions include contemplative practices, cognitive-behavioral skills, weekly resource materials with links to online resources, and support for home practices. In this session, we will share our experience implementing the program with community partners, including early childhood and youth-serving organizations. We will report preliminary qualitative and quantitative findings, including pre- and post-test assessments which include the Professional Quality of Life Measure (ProQOL), Brief Resilience Scale (BRS), Flourishing, Brief COPE, General Life Events and Stressfulness (GLES), Mindfulness Attention and Awareness Scale (MAAS), and Self-Compassion Scale (SCS).


Presenting author: Rebecca Calhoun, MPH, Center for Child and Family Well-Being, University of Washington

Co-author(s): Liliana Lengua, PhD, Shayla Collins, Robyn Long, MSW, MA

Practicing Mindfulness and Compassion is a Promising Approach to Support the Emotional Well-being of Early Childhood Teachers »


The early years are a critically important for the social-emotional and cognitive development of young children and serve as the foundation for positive development and academic competency in later school years (Cortázar et al., 2020). An important context where young children learn these skills is in early care education environments, where the majority of children in the U.S. are enrolled (Mamedova & Redford, 2015). As such early childhood play an instrumental role in supporting classroom environments that enhance and promote the social-emotional and cognitive development of children (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009). However, early childhood teachers are found to experience high rates of stress (Bassok et al. 2021) which can negatively impact their well-being and positive interactions with young children and families. With an increasing interest in the application of mindfulness-based interventions in these early care education settings, this study examines the effects of a Cultivating Healthy Intentional Mindful Educators (CHIME) program, a mindfulness and compassion-based intervention, on early childhood educators’ psychological distress and workplace well-being. Results will be presented from a recently completed pilot RCT of the CHIME program, with evidence of promise for the program. In particular, CHIME, in comparison to the control condition, led to reductions in total emotion regulation difficulties, p<.001; d=-.682; and emotion suppression, p<.014; d=-.464. CHIME also led to increases in emotion reappraisal, p=.002; d=.621; total self-compassion, p=.006; d=.535; and mental well-being, p<.001; d=.646. It should be noted that there were generally medium effect sizes across these measures. The program did not lead to changes for some outcome measures (e.g., work-place efforts and rewards scale and the mindfulness measure). Discussion will focus on future directions of the program and suggestions for implementing such programs in culturally responsive ways.


Presenting author: Holly Hatton, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Co-author(s): Carrie Clark, PhD, Lorey Wheeler, PhD, Gilbert Parra, PhD, Sara Rasby, MS

Flash Talk Presentations

Self-Compassion for Family Caregivers »


The presentation will include results from a research-based “Self-Compassion for Family Caregivers” 6-week pilot series at the University of NE-Lincoln. There are 55 million family caregivers in the United States alone, and caregiving is becoming more recognized as a public health issue due to the influx of global research on the burdens and demands associated with the role. Data from the series will be shared reflecting the consistencies of the literature on the adverse effects of caregiving upon individuals, such a poorer health outcomes, increased anxiety/stress, and decreased connection with the self. Self-compassion practices have been empirically shown to help mitigates the burdens associated with family caregiving. Data from the pilot study regarding improvements of caregiver well-being due to self-compassion practices will be shared. Results and recommendations on how the self-compassion intervention can be integrated into clinical and community settings such as nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, clinics and community networks in effort to support, maintain and increase the well-being family caregivers. The presentation will also emphasize the social implications regarding one’s access and barriers to self-compassion practices and how it affects overall well-being. The presented solution contributes to the new and innovate practices because family caregivers and providers need support in two ways: they need to be able to support themselves and their own well-being during stressful times, and they need support navigating and coping with the social structures and systems that impede their well-being due to high demands and lack of resources. Self-compassion can act as an innovative practice because it helps a person regulate their nervous system, accept what is in the moment with mindful practices, and providing clarity for one to move forward with action no matter what come their way.


Presenting author: Sarah Rasby, MA, Ph.D. student scholar and research assistant, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Co-author(s): Dr. Holly Hatten-Bowers, Ph.D.

Identifying Adaptations for a Self-compassion Intervention for Spanish-speaking Mothers of Children with Disabilities or Health Conditions »


Objectives: Culturally relevant mindfulness- and self-compassion-based interventions for Spanish-speaking mothers of children with disabilities or health conditions are lacking despite growing evidence of their benefits for English-speaking mothers. To address this need, we offered a mindfulness- and self-compassion-based intervention to this population in Spanish. We aimed to explore how contextual factors influenced participant experiences and outcomes with the goal of informing future cultural adaptations.

Methods: Sixteen mothers participated in a 6-week intervention and completed semi-structured interviews that were professionally transcribed and translated for qualitative analysis. Using a realist evaluation framework, we examined 1) participants’ context, 2) the intervention’s mechanisms, and 3) outcomes that participants identified. We conducted a thematic analysis in which we identified themes, mapped them to this context-mechanisms-outcomes framework, and explored relationships between them. In alignment with community-based participatory research principles, peer facilitators who are mothers of children with health conditions or disabilities participated in planning, translation into Spanish, intervention delivery, analysis, and development of recommendations for future adaptations.

Results: Our thematic analysis found that four contextual elements – faith, self-concept as a woman and mother, trauma, and level of social support – influenced how participants experienced the mechanisms. Faith supported engagement, with participants describing how they integrated intervention practices with their faith-based practices. Past trauma was linked to difficulties with a few practices that involved self-kindness and self-touch. Self-concept as a woman and mother – evidenced by participants’ tendency to prioritize their family’s needs over their own self-care – was a barrier to engagement for some participants. Although participants with a low level of pre-existing social support reported making fewer comments during the intervention, they reported having positive experiences and valued listening to others. When describing their experiences, participants linked the mechanisms of (1) having positive experiences with practices and (2) engaging in self-reflection to three outcomes: emotion regulation, empowerment to practice self-care, and savoring daily life experiences. Participants frequently described the mechanism of self-reflection as a means of overcoming barriers to engagement. They connected a third mechanism – sharing life experiences and learning in community – to the outcome of common humanity.

Conclusions: Based on our findings, we propose that the impact of the intervention could be increased by inviting participants to explore how the intervention content aligns with their faith-based values and practices. Opportunities for self-reflection could increase motivation to use practices and address barriers to engagement. We also found that the realist evaluation framework proved useful when adapting a mindfulness-based intervention to a new context because it facilitated an exploration of how the context interacted with the mechanisms of the intervention and influenced attainment of outcomes that participants valued.


Presenting author: Kimberly C. Arthur, MPH, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Co-author(s): Araceli Mendez Sanchez, MPH; Angie Tamayo Montero, MA; Patricia Delgado; Ofelia Rosas Ramos; Felice Orlich, PhD; Arti D. Desai, MD, MSPH

Operationalizing Mindful Teaching for Secondary Educators in the Be CALM Program »


Teachers’ social-emotional competence and wellbeing are theorized to promote student-teacher relationships, effective classroom management, and implementation of social-emotional learning (SEL) programs, which in turn support a healthy classroom climate, that contributes to student SEL (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009; Jones & Doolittle, 2017). In the last decade, evidence has grown that shows mindfulness promotes teacher SEL through insight and practice change as well as reducing teaching stress and increasing self-awareness, empathy, and emotion regulation (Jennings et al., 2011, 2015; Roeser et al., 2013). However, there is little empirical guidance for how specific teacher practices, or “mindful teaching” might be enacted in interactions with students to optimize youth outcomes.

The Be CALM Program utilizes a “co-regulation” framework (Murray et al., 2019) to define and teach key elements for promoting youth’s developmental skills and capabilities through interactions with caring adults, including: 1) creating safe, supportive classroom environments, 2) building strong teacher-student relationships, and 3) promoting application of social-emotional skills in day-to-day interactions. Over 100 middle and high school educators have been trained in a blended learning approach including self-study, live virtual, and in-person workshops. Foundational training teaches what mindfulness is and how it is relevant both personally and professionally through education and experiential practice. Mindful teaching is operationalized through core principles and key phrases. Strategies for student interactions are taught using active learning methods like self-reflection, role plays, and video modeling. Equity is promoted by 1) using mindfulness to promote teachers’ awareness of their cultural lenses and biases, 2) supporting student voice and choice to promote a sense of agency, and 3) building a learning environment where all students feel valued and a sense of belonging.

Two intervention development studies demonstrate the initial benefit of this approach for teachers. In a small randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted in five middle schools, trained health/PE teachers (n = 5) reported less emotional burnout (η = .27) and greater mindfulness (η = .39) than comparison teachers (n = 4) and were observed to more frequently support students’ social-emotional skills (t = -4.277, p = .00). In a pre-post pilot study with 11 ninth grade teachers in 2021-2022, an observational measure was developed to assess Mindful Teaching, Student Connections, Safe Supportive Learning Environments, and Support for Students’ Skill Application (Roudebush, under review), with 6 items demonstrating internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha – .80). Scores on this measure improved over time for teachers and were modestly associated with student engagement in the program (r(19) = .402, p = .088).

Overall, the Be CALM Program’s approach is well-grounded theoretically, measurable, and appears to have value for training secondary educators in making mindfulness actionable in interactions with students. This has been further validated by promising impact on students as well.


Presenting author: Macy Lawrence Ratliff, MS, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Co-author(s): Desiree W. Murray, PhD

Identifying Core Program Components and Core Instructor Competencies of Mindfulness‑Based Programming for Youth »


The implementation of mindfulness-based programming/interventions (MBP) for youth, and corresponding research, has proliferated in recent years. Although preliminary evidence is promising, one pressing concern is that the heterogeneity of MBP for youth makes it difficult to infer the essential constituent program elements that may be driving specified outcomes (i.e., core program components (CPCs)). A second concern is that there are no current consensus recommendations for core competencies for youth MBP instructors, leading to highly heterogeneous training backgrounds and competency standards. This flash talk will present recent research that employed the Delphi method to survey expert MBP scientists and instructors to identify consensus of CPCs and instructor competencies of MBP for youth. Delphi Round 1 surveyed scientists (n = 19) to name and define potential CPCs and instructor competencies of MBP for youth; responses were qualitatively analyzed yielding categorical codes. Delphi Round 2 recruited MBP instructors (n = 21) identified by scientist participants and peer instructor nomination. In Rounds 2 and 3, the full participant sample (scientists and instructors) were asked to consider the preceding Round’s results and whether each of the identified codes were an essential CPC or core instructor competency of MBPs for youth. Final Round 3 results indicated consensus (≥ 75% endorsement) of 9 CPCs and 11 core instructor competencies. These findings are the first to report expert consensus of identified CPCs and core instructor competencies of MBP for youth. These findings have significant implications for future youth MBP evaluation, implementation, and curriculum development. Attendees will learn more about essential constituent components of MBP for youth, and about core competencies for an effective youth MBP instructor. Question and answer will discuss future directions for research, implementation, program development, and instructor training.


Presenting author: Joshua C. Felver, PhD ABPP, Cornell University


Impact of Mindfulness Interventions on Human Flourishing: A Meta-analysis »


Background: Historically, researchers focused on mindfulness interventions to reduce negative situations such as depression and anxiety. Researchers had predominantly focused attention on individuals’ suffering exclusively, which is not a productive method for all individuals. Researchers have less often studied mindfulness interventions to promote the positive aspects of life that help individuals flourish.

Objective: The aim of this meta-analysis was to examine the effect of mindfulness interventions on flourishing. In addition, we examined the moderator effects of participant characteristics, methods, and interventions characteristics.

Methods: We searched CINAHL, PubMed, Scopus, Ovid PsycINFO, Ovid Medline, Web of Science, and unpublished dissertations without date restrictions to June 2022. Studies were eligible if researchers tested mindfulness interventions against comparison groups using randomized trial or quasi-experimental designs with adults ≥18 years, measured flourishing quantitatively, and reported their studies in English. We coded studies for 5 categories: source variables, methods which included quality indicators, intervention characteristics, participant characteristics, and outcomes. We used SPSS to describe the studies; we used comprehensive meta-analysis (CMA) to calculate effect size and examine moderator effects. Further, to understand if the effect of mindfulness interventions on flourishing reflected spontaneous improvement, we examined one-group pretest/posttest mean differences within the mindfulness groups and within the comparison groups. We conducted the analysis estimating no correlation (r=0.0) and reanalyzed estimating correlation (r=0.8). If comparison groups showed significant improvement in flourishing, we would suspect that the effects we see in the mindfulness groups simply reflected spontaneous improvement.

Results: Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria (S=15) providing 16 comparisons (K=16; one study provided two comparisons). Across studies (N=2,834), the effects of mindfulness interventions on flourishing among adults was 0.37 [(95% CI=0.15, 0.59) p=0.00] compared with comparison groups. Moreover, mindfulness group pre-post comparisons showed that flourishing increased by 0.32 (p<.000) when groups were uncorrelated (r=0.0) and 0.394 (p<.000) when groups were correlated (r=0.8). Control group pre-post comparisons showed non-significant change in effect size when groups were uncorrelated (0.05, p=0.495) or when correlated (0.04, p=0.419). Moderator analyses revealed that mindful yoga resulted in greater improvement in flourishing compared to mindful meditation (0.79 vs 0.16, respectively; p=0.000). None of the other moderators made a significant effect on flourishing.

Conclusion: Overall, mindfulness interventions have a small to moderate effect on flourishing among adults. Mindful yoga interventions have a greater effect on improving flourishing than mindful meditation interventions. Additionally, attrition rate and precent of females were significant moderators that negatively influenced the effect of mindfulness interventions on human flourishing among adults. Our findings suggest that mindfulness interventions might be recommended as one approach that could potentially improve flourishing among adults.


Presenting author: Samah Hawsawi, Ph.D(c), RN, Saint Louis University


Parent and Teacher Assessment of a Mindful Eating Intervention for Preschoolers »


National nutrition data reveal that the diet quality of young American children is poor and that once unhealthy eating habits emerge, they are likely to persist over time and result in negative health outcomes. Thus, there is a critical need to cultivate healthy eating behaviors early in life when children’s eating patterns and their ability to self-regulate food intake are being developed. Nutrition research acknowledges that caregivers have the capacity to shape healthy eating among preschool age children via feeding practices that include sensory experiences, support satiety cues, and model healthy practices. Thus, there is also a need for programs that can be integrated into childcare centers that include simple practices to support children’s curiosity with food and promote healthy eating behaviors.

Our interdisciplinary research team developed a holistic mindful eating curriculum, Mindfully Growing, that includes child, parent, and teacher components. The four key program elements include: 1) preschooler mindful eating – increasing self-regulation of appetite using mindful tasting and internal cues of hunger and fullness; 2) parent/teacher mindful eating – practicing mindful eating and improving awareness of internal hunger and fullness cues; 3) family/childcare center engagement – introducing concepts of mindful eating to parents and teachers; 4) family/teacher integration – infusing and sustaining mindful eating practices within the family and childcare settings.

This spring, parents of preschool children and preschool teachers are participating in focus groups to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the parent and teacher workshops. The purpose of these components are to enhance mindfulness and mindful eating within caregivers in order to better support these practices with children in their care. We are gathering data via semi-structured interviews in order to make needed modifications prior to pilot testing the intervention in the fall. We anticipate moderating four in-person group sessions (2 groups of 8 teachers and 2 groups of 8 parents). In this flash talk, we will present data collected via focus groups with parents and teachers and share themes around engagement strategies and integrating technology in ways that best meet the needs of families and childcare centers.


Presenting author: Rachel Razza, PhD, Syracuse University
Co-author(s): Lynn Brann, PhD

Mindfulness Facets as Pathways to Emotion Regulation for Adults in Mexico »


Objective: Mindfulness has become increasingly popular as research in this field suggests promising results in clinical and non-clinical populations, particularly in reducing stress and promoting well-being and mental health-related benefits (Goldberg et al., 2022). Grecucci et al. (2015) suggest that mindfulness has achieved these outcomes through its contribution to emotion regulation. Although the psychological benefits of mindfulness for emotion regulation are well-documented (Roemer et al., 2015), the precise mechanisms underlying these effects remain less clear. Therefore, this study completed in Mexico aimed to examine which facets of mindfulness are the best predictors of emotion regulation.
Methods: The Mexican version of the Mindfulness Inventory (Ibinarriaga Soltero et al., 2023) and the Emotion Regulation subscale of the Inventory of Socioemotional Competences for Adults (Mikulic, Crespi & Radusky, 2015) were completed in Spanish by N = 387 participants (Mage= 39.85; SD = 12.70) who registered for an online mindfulness seminar implemented at National Autonomous University of Mexico. While participants had diverse demographic characteristics, the sample was predominantly female (84.2%), psychologists (60.7%) who held a bachelor’s degree (63%) and lived in Mexico City (62.5%). A multiple linear regression analysis was performed to analyze the effect of contextual variables and the Mindfulness Inventory facets on emotion regulation.
Results show that the predictor variables together explain almost 50% of the variance of emotional regulation (adjusted R2 = .497, F = 42.26, p < 0.001). Particularly, the following Mindfulness Inventory facets were statistically significant predictors of emotional regulation: a) not judging internal experiences (β = .289, p < 0.001), b) observing the breathing (β = .092, p = .045), c) not acting on autopilot (β = .311, p < 0.001), d) paying attention to external stimuli (β = .127, p = .005), and e) not reacting to internal experiences (β = .195, p < 0.001 ). According to Cohen's rules, the effect size was small for ‘observing the breathing’ (d = .151) and ‘not judging internal experiences’ (d = .216); small to moderate for ‘paying attention to external stimuli’ (d = .270) and ‘not reacting to internal experiences’ (d = .402); and large for ‘not acting on autopilot’ (d = 1.031).
Conclusion: Findings from the current study suggest that for Mexican adults participating in a mindfulness seminar, mindfulness represents a pathway for emotional regulation, which involves awareness of inner and external experiences without judgment and reactivity.


Presenting author: Ximena Ibinarriaga Soltero, Ph.D. student, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Feasibility, Acceptability and Preliminary Outcomes of the Self-Compassion for Children and Caregivers Program »


Caregivers of elementary-aged children are instrumental in shaping children’s understanding of and ability to regulate difficult emotions (e.g., sadness, anger, shame). Self-compassion has emerged as a useful skill in promoting adaptive responses to difficult emotions in adults and teens but has been minimally explored in child and family contexts. This study used both qualitative and quantitative data to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a new online, synchronous program called Self-Compassion for Children and Caregivers (SCCC). This program offers six sessions of group-based co-learning for caregivers and their school-aged children. Twenty-eight caregivers (79% female, 79% White) recruited through university advertisements and a community-based organization completed close-ended surveys pre and post program and provided open-ended written feedback about their experience with the program. The program was feasible, with 93% of completers attending at least 5 of 6 classes. Content analysis of caregivers’ open-ended responses suggested high acceptability, with caregivers citing improvements in communication about and support for difficult emotions and caregiver-child bonding. However, the online learning format was not ideal for all dyads. Suggested changes may improve engagement and outcomes. Quantitative analysis confirmed qualitative findings, showing significant improvements in caregivers’ self-compassion, parenting stress, mindful parenting, and caregivers’ assessment of their children’s depression pre- versus post-program. Implications for intervention refinements and future studies are discussed.


Presenting author: Christine Lathren, MD, MSPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Co-author(s): Karen Bluth, PhD; Jamie Lynn Tatera

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