Award Date

August 2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Stephen Benning

Second Committee Member

Noelle Lefforge

Third Committee Member

Andrew Freeman

Fourth Committee Member

Kristen Culbert

Fifth Committee Member

Sam Song

Number of Pages

195

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that mindfulness interventions can assist in increasing an individual’s wellbeing. This includes improving an individual’s mental health and decreasing urge-related behaviors (e.g., substance use, deliberate self-harm, aggression). Nevertheless, there is limited research on the efficaciousness of mindfulness interventions with adolescents. These interventions are also time consuming and expensive. The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of a brief (i.e., 10 to 20 minutes) mindfulness intervention to assist adolescents in reducing their urge-related behaviors. I hypothesized that the brief intervention would reduce participants’ urge-related behaviors but not urge feelings. The intervention was also predicted to improve their mental health and reduce their impulsivity. A mixed-model design was used to assess these hypotheses. Participants received the “Surf the Urge” intervention at either 2- or 4-weeks during a 6-week assessment period. The following measures were administered: the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire; Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief Form; National Adult Reading Test-Revised, Domain Specific Risk Taking Scale; UPPS-P Impulsive Behavioral Scale; Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21; Urges for Urge-Related Behavior Questionnaire; and Urge-Related Behavior Engagement Questionnaire. Participants included young adults (N = 35) from a University Mental Health Clinic, as well as psychology courses. Findings demonstrated that the main hypothesis was supported, as the Surf the Urge intervention reduced urge-related behaviors, but not urges. No additional findings were significant (e.g., Surf the Urge intervention did not improve mindfulness skills). This study contributes to existing empirical evidence assessing the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions to reduce adolescence’s risky behaviors.

Keywords

Adolescents and Young Adults; Mindfulness; Risky Behaviors; Therapy Interventions; Urges

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology

Language

English


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