Volume 23, Issue 3 (Autumn 2021)                   Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2021, 23(3): 66-78 | Back to browse issues page

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Soltani Panah M, Asgari P, Naderi F. The Effectiveness of mindfulness exercises on positive youth development components in adolescents with anxiety disorder. Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2021; 23 (3) :66-78
URL: http://icssjournal.ir/article-1-1235-en.html
1- PhD Student of Exceptional Children Psychology, Department of Psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran
2- Associate Professor, Department of psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran
3- Professor, Department of Psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran
Abstract:   (3080 Views)
Fear and anxiety are recurring developmental problem. Anxiety disorders are the most common group of mental disorders that affect children and adolescents, and their estimated prevalence worldwide is 6.5%. The widespread negative impact of anxiety in adolescence, together with the findings that most anxiety disorders first occur in childhood or adolescence, highlights the need for adolescent-centered intervention in this area. On the other hand, the results of many studies support the effectiveness of mindfulness training on the psychological characteristics of adolescents. Mindfulness programs refer to a specific subset of meditation exercises that has attracted increasing attention in recent years. These interventions aim to create clear and non-judgmental mindfulness of what is happening in the consecutive moment in perception. One of the theories derived from this intervention is the view of positive youth development. The positive development approach has emerged from the positive psychology movement with an emphasis on the issue of well-being. Considering that the positive development of adolescence helps adolescents reduce behavioral problems in this period, and considering the prevalence of anxiety among adolescents. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of mindfulness training on the components of positive adolescent development in adolescents with anxiety disorder.
The present study was a semi-experimental pre-test post-test with control group. The independent variable (mindfulness) had two levels (experimental group and the control group) in this study.  The research had a dependent variable (positive youth development Components). The statistical population of the study consists of adolescents aged 9-11 years with an anxiety disorder who have been evaluated by a psychiatrist and referred to a psychologist. Among them, 30 people (15 people from each experimental and control group) were selected by the purposive sampling method.  All subjects received information about the research that observed the ethical principles of the research. They were assured that all information would remain confidential and would only be used for research purposes. For privacy reasons, the subjects' details were not recorded. In the end, all of them received informed consent. Inclusion criteria were: diagnosis of anxiety disorder by a psychiatrist before entering the study, no serious physical or mental illness, and not attending other psychotherapy sessions at least one month before the survey, giving assurance about the confidentiality of information to them to participate in Research. Exclusion criteria were psychiatric comorbid disorders, drug use, and absenteeism in more than three medical counseling sessions. They were then randomly divided into experimental and control groups.  The positive adolescent development questionnaire of Goldoff et al. (2014) and the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (2007) was used to collect information. The experimental group was trained in eight weekly 60-minute sessions of adolescent-centered mindfulness training package from Burdick (This treatment package has been used in Manshaee and Hosseini research).  The control group was included in the training waiting list. In this study, Data analysis was performed by descriptive statistical methods (mean, standard deviation), multivariate analysis of covariance. In this study, a significance level of less than 0.05 was considered. Data were analyzed using SPSS 20 software.
In the present study, the mean age of the mindfulness training group and the control group was 12.20±0.75 and 11.90±0.95, respectively. From 30 participants, six boys and nine girls were in the experimental group, and seven boys and eight girls were in the control group. In order to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness training on the components of positive adolescent development in adolescents with anxiety disorder, a multivariate analysis of covariance was used. First, the normality of data distribution was checked and confirmed using Shapiro-Wilk Test (P<0.05). The box test confirmed the assumption of variance-covariance homogeneity (P=0.76). Also, because the auxiliary variables (pre-tests) had a correlation of less than 0.90 with each other, and according to the obtained correlations, the assumption of multiple alignments between the variables has been avoided. Therefore, the assumptions of the statistical test of multivariate analysis of covariance are established, and this test can be used to analyze the data. The results of multivariate analysis of covariance statistical tests in experimental and control groups show that these groups have a significant difference in the dependent variables (P<0.0001). Univariate analysis of covariance statistical test was used to find out this difference. The univariate analysis of variance test results showed that the group had a significant effect on post-test scores of components of positive adolescent development (Competency, Confidence, Communication, Character, and Care component). The F-ratio and Significance level of univariate analysis of covariance for the positive development components shows that there is a significant difference in all components (Competency (F= 64.68, p<0.0001), Confidence (F=98.45, P<0.0001), Communication (F=235.34, P<0.0001), Character (F=151.62, P<0.0001) and Care component (F=141.67, P<0.0001) between the training and control groups in the post-test. Therefore, mindfulness training has a significant effect on all components of positive change.
According to the results of this study, cosidering the effectiveness of mindfulness training in the components of positive change, it is suggested that such an educational program be part of the codified treatments of child and adolescent counseling centers and that therapists have sufficient knowledge in this field by holding training workshops. Like other studies, the present study has some limitations. For example, due to the lack of long-term access to adolescents with anxiety disorder, it was impossible to conduct a follow-up period to evaluate the continuity of effectiveness of mindfulness training.  In this study, adolescents with anxiety disorder entered the study, and therefore generalizing the results to other adolescents is limited. Also, despite full supervision and explanation from the researcher, adolescents may not report accurately in filling out their questionnaires due to anxiety. It is suggested that other age groups be used in future research. Also, normal adolescents should be used in future research, and the results should be compared with the findings of the present study.  Also, in the present study, only a questionnaire was used to measure the variables. Part of the results may be due to the subjects' sensitivity to the test questions, test performance, and set norms, so it is suggested that other data collection methods such as interviews be used in future research.
Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines
All subjects received information about the study. They were reassured about the confidentiality of the information and assured that the information would only be used for research purposes.The participants signed the informed consent form and had the right to leave the study at any time. This research meets guidelines for ethical conduct and report of research.
Authors’ contributions
Marjan Soltani Panah and Parviz Asgari: Defined the concepts in choosing the subject and designing the study. All authors performed a search of the research literature and background. Marjan Soltani Panah collected and analyzed data. Writing and drafting done by Farah Naderi. All authors discussed the results and participated in the preparation and editing of the article’s final version.
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or non-profit sector. This research was extracted from the Ph.D.  Thesis of the first author, in the Department of Psychology and Exceptional Children Education, faculty of psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran.
In the end, the authors are grateful to all participants in the research and all those who have facilitated the implementation of the research.
Conflict of Interest
The author declared no Conflict of Interest
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Type of Study: Research |
Received: 2021/01/5 | Accepted: 2021/02/18 | Published: 2021/11/16

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