, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 1044–1051 | Cite as

The Effects of Mindfulness Training on Emotional Health in Chinese Long-Term Male Prison Inmates

  • Wei Xu
  • Kun Jia
  • Xinghua LiuEmail author
  • Stefan G. Hofmann


Long-term imprisonment can cause severe emotional problems, which in turn can trigger behavioral problems, self-harm, and suicide. Mindfulness-based intervention can enhance emotional health. This study investigated the effects of a 6-week mindfulness training program on the emotional health of long-term male Chinese prison inmates. Forty long-term male prisoners completed a pretest and posttest, with 19 in the mindfulness training group and 21 in the waitlist control group. The treatment group showed a significant improvement in mindfulness level, anxiety, depression, tension-anxiety, depression-dejection, anger-hostility, confusion-bewilderment, and total mood disturbance. Implications and limitations of this study were discussed. These results support the use of a mindfulness-based intervention to enhance the emotional health of long-term male prison inmates.


Meditation Mindfulness treatment Emotion regulation Inmates Negative emotions 



This research was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (Project 31271114). The authors thank Qian Zhang and Yuzheng Wang for their invaluable assistance in the statistical analysis and manuscript revision for this study. The authors would also thank Leigh Andrews for the proofreading work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The study received ethical approval from the Academic Committee of the Department of Psychology, College of Education, Capital Normal University. No adverse events were reported in this study.


This study was funded by the National Science Foundation of China (Project 31271114).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kun Jia
    • 1
  • Xinghua Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan G. Hofmann
    • 3
  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Learning and Cognition, Department of PsychologyCapital Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of PsychologyNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Boston UniversityBostonUSA

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