Adolescents with conduct disorder frequently engage in aggressive and disruptive behaviors. Often these behaviors are controlled or managed through behavioral or other psychosocial interventions. However, such interventions do not always ensure lasting changes in an adolescent's response repertoire so that he or she does not engage in aggression when exposed to the same situations that gave rise to the behavior previously. Mindfulness training provides a treatment option that helps an individual focus and attend to conditions that give rise to maladaptive behavior.Using a multiple baseline design,we assessed the effectiveness of a mindfulness training procedure in modulating the aggressive behavior of three adolescents who were at risk of expulsion from school because of this behavior. The adolescents were able to learn the mindfulness procedure successfully and use it in situations that previously occasioned aggressive behavior.This led to large decreases in the aggression of all three individuals. Follow-up data showed that the adolescents were able to keep their aggressive behavior at socially acceptable levels in school through to graduation. Maladaptive behaviors, other than aggression, that the adolescents chose not to modify, showed no consistent change during mindfulness training, practice, and follow-up.
Abstract Complex moving visual stimuli are used to induce states of relaxation, hypnosis and revery. To test the efficacy of using aquarium contemplation to induce relaxation, 42 patients were randomly assigned to one of five treatments prior to elective oral surgery: 1) contemplation of an aquarium, 2) contemplation of a poster, 3) poster contemplation with hypnotic induction, 4) aquarium contemplation with hypnosis, and 5), a non intervention control. Blood pressure, heart rate, and subjective and objective measures of anxiety were used as dependent measures. Pretreatment with aquarium contemplation and hypnosis, either alone or in combination, produced significantly greater degrees of relaxation during surgery than poster contemplation or the control procedure. Two-way analysis of variance demonstrated that a formal hypnotic induction did not augment the relaxation produced by aquarium contemplation.
Abstract Two nine member classes for behaviorally disturbed 8 to 11 year old males and females were randomly selected for a treatment or a no‐treatment group. Time spent in off‐task behavior was recorded by two observers via a time sampling technique. One group practiced Benson's meditative‐relaxation technique while the no‐treatment subjects were instructed to relax for the same 20 minute sessions over a five day period. Non‐attending behavior levels were recorded during the treatment period. The t‐test for pretest to post‐test mean change differences of non‐attending behavior for the two groups reflected a significant reduction (p < .001) in the number of non‐attending behaviors for the treatment group.
A multiple baseline design across three grade level groups with a comparison group was employed to investigate the effectiveness of yoga for improving time on task with 10 elementary school children who evidenced attention problems. A yoga videotape, published by Gaiam, was used that required the children to follow an adult instructor and three children who engaged in deep breathing, physical postures, and relaxation exercises for 30 minutes, twice a week, for a period of 3 weeks. Time on task was defined as the percentage of intervals observed that the students were orientating toward the teacher or task, and performing the requested classroom assignments. The results indicated effect sizes that ranged from 1.5 to 2.7 as a function of the intervention. Effect sizes at follow-up decreased, but ranged from .77 to 1.95. Peer comparison data indicated that classmates’ time on task remained essentially unchanged throughout the three phases of the study.
Boys diagnosed with ADHD by specialist pediatricians and stabilized on medication were randomly assigned to a 20-session yoga group (n = 11) or a control group (cooperative activities; n = 8). Boys were assessed pre- and post-intervention on the Conners’ Parent and Teacher Rating Scales-Revised: Long (CPRS-R:L & CTRS-R:L; Conners, 1997), the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA; Greenberg, Cormna, & Kindschi, 1997), and the Motion Logger Actigraph. Data were analyzed using one-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Significant improvements from pre-test to post-test were found for the yoga, but not for the control group on five subscales of the Conners’ Parents Rating Scales (CPRS): Oppositional, Global Index Emotional Lability, Global Index Total, Global Index Restless/Impulsive and ADHD Index. Significant improvements from pre-test to post-test were found for the control group, but not the yoga group on three CPRS subscales: Hyperactivity, Anxious/Shy, and Social Problems. Both groups improved significantly on CPRS Perfectionism, DSM-IV Hyperactive/Impulsive, and DSM-IV Total .For the yoga group, positive change from pre- to post-test on the Conners’ Teacher Rating Scales (CTRS) was associated with the number of sessions attended on the DSM-IV Hyperactive-Impulsive subscale and with a trend on DSM-IV Inattentive subscale. Those in the yoga group who engaged in more home practice showed a significant improvement on TOVA Response Time Variability with a trend on the ADHD score, and greater improvements on the CTRS Global Emotional Lability subscale. Results from the Motion Logger Actigraph were inconclusive. Although these data do not provide strong support for the use of yoga for ADHD, partly because the study was under-powered, they do suggest that yoga may have merit as a complementary treatment for boys with ADHD already stabilized on medication, particularly for its evening effect when medication effects are absent. Yoga remains an investigational treatment, but this study supports further research into its possible uses for this population. These findings need to be replicated on larger groups with a more intensive supervised practice program.
Some individuals with autism engage in physical aggression to an extent that interferes with not only their quality of life, but also that of their parents and siblings. Behavioral and psychopharmacological treatments have been the mainstay of treatments for aggression in children and adolescents with autism. We evaluated the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based procedure, Meditation on the Soles of the Feet, in helping three adolescents to manage their physical aggression. This procedure required the adolescents to rapidly shift the focus of their attention from the aggression-triggering event to a neutral place on their body, the soles of their feet. Incidents of aggression across the three adolescents ranged from a mean of 14–20 per week during baseline, 4–6 per week during mindfulness training, including zero rates during the last 4 weeks of intervention. Aggression occurred a rate of about 1 per year during a 3-year follow-up. Our results suggest adolescents with autism can learn, and effectively use, a mindfulness-based procedure to self-manage their physical aggression over several years.