The effect of mindfulness training on mental health in long-term Chinese male prisoners.

Author: An Y1, Zhou Y1, Huang Q1, Jia K2, Li W3, Xu W1,4
1a School of Psychology , Nanjing Normal University , Nanjing , P. R. China.
2b School of Psychology , Beijing Foristry University , Beijing , P. R. China.
3c School of Psychology , Capital Normal University , Beijing , P. R. China.
4d Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology , Beijing Normal University , Beijing , P. R. China.
Conference/Journal: Psychol Health Med.
Date published: 2018 Aug 22
Other: Volume ID: 1-10 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1080/13548506.2018.1510130. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 204

Previous studies suggest that prisoners are more likely to suffer from psychological problems, especially long-term ones. This, in turn, can cause severe behavioral problems such as self-harm and suicide. Previous research demonstrates that mindfulness-based intervention statistically contributes to improved emotional health in general terms. However, little is known about what specific aspects of mental health are improved. The purpose of the present study is to examine the effects of a 6-week mindfulness training program to the mental health of long-term male Chinese prisoners who were imprisoned for serious criminal behaviors and their prison sentences remain at least 10 years. Forty long-term male prisoners completed the entire study, with 19 in the mindfulness training group and 21 in the waitlist control group. Both groups completed self-report inventories before and after the 6-week intervention. Results show that the training group had significant improvement in mindfulness level (p < .0l), score of SCL-90 (p < .001) and perceived stress (p < .05) compared to the waitlist control group. With respect to the results, we discuss the significance and limitations of this study. Overall, the study provides evidence that mindfulness-based intervention can enhance the mindfulness level and mental health of long-term male prisoners.

KEYWORDS: Mindfulness intervention; mental health; perceived stress; prisoners

PMID: 30133307 DOI: 10.1080/13548506.2018.1510130