A Mindfulness-Based Group Intervention for Enhancing Self-Regulation of Emotion in Late Childhood and Adolescence: A Pilot Study
Emotion dysregulation is strongly implicated in the development of psychological problems during adolescence. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an intervention for enhancing self-regulation of emotion in adolescents, adapted from Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy. We studied the impact of the intervention on depressive symptoms, as well as on transdiagnostic psychological processes related to emotional regulation, namely impulsivity and ruminative thinking. Twenty-one participants aged between 11 and 19 years were offered a nine-session group intervention. Adolescents completed standardized questionnaires before and after the training. This intervention was found to increase self-reported mindfulness and was well-accepted by adolescents, as estimated by the low dropout rate. As expected, a decrease was observed in depressive symptoms, in specific impulsivity facets (urgency and lack of perseverance), and in internal-dysfunctional strategies of emotion regulation (especially in unconstructive repetitive thoughts). The present findings provide preliminary support for a group intervention for adolescents characterized by emotion regulation difficulties, targeting transdiagnostic psychological processes (impulsivity and ruminative thinking). Furthermore, by potentially enhancing self-regulation skills, this intervention might constitute an effective method for general prevention of psychological disorders in late childhood and adolescence.