Mechanisms of Change Underlying Mindfulness-Based Practice among Adolescents

Ying Zhang, Rachel A Razza, Qiu Wang, Dessa Bergen-Cico, Qingyang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate how mindfulness-based practice influenced self-regulation and self-compassion during adolescence. Of particular interest was the reciprocal interplay between the subcomponents of these two constructs.
Methods: The participants included 538 high school students (52.2% male), mean age 16.59 (SD = .74) recruited from three high schools in Philadelphia, PA. Students participated in a 12-week school-based mindfulness intervention and completed the Self-compassion Scale-Short Form and the Adolescent Self-regulation Inventory at pretest (T1) and posttest (T2).
Results: A key finding was that the models with directional paths from self-regulation to self-compassion best fit the data. Specifically, long-term self-regulation at T1 was positively associated with mindfulness and self-kindness at T2 while short-term self-regulation at T1 was negatively associated with self-judgment, over-identification, and isolation at T2.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that self-regulation precedes and enables the actualization of self-compassion within the context of mindfulness practice. The implications for understanding the specific mechanisms underlying mindfulness-based practice and its benefits for adolescents’ psychological well-being are discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1457
Number of pages12
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 2022


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