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12-02-2021 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2021

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2021

A Non-randomized Trial of Kundalini Yoga for Emotion Regulation within an After-school Program for Adolescents

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2021
Auteurs:
Kibby McMahon, Michele Berger, Keval Kaur Khalsa, Elizabeth Harden, Sat Bir Singh Khalsa
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Supplementary information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-021-01911-9.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Adolescence is a critical age for developing difficulties with emotion regulation and other psychosocial problems. Yoga programs implemented in schools may be a promising method of intervention, as previous research suggests that they improve emotion regulation and other psychological outcomes in adolescents. This study examined the effects of the Kundalini Yoga-based Y.O.G.A for Youth (Y4Y) after-school program on adolescents’ self-reported emotion dysregulation and psychological functioning. A sample of 119 students, ages 11–14, was recruited through after-school programs for middle school students in the North Carolina school system. Within four public schools, participants participated in 6 weeks of either the Y4Y after-school program (n= 52), or an alternate activity (n = 66) and completed self-report measures of emotion dysregulation, anxiety, depression, stress and mindfulness before and after the 6 weeks. Results from this study suggest that the students who participated in the Y4Y program reported significant decreases in emotion dysregulation over the 6-week program. They also reported significant decreases in anger, depression and fatigue over one yoga session. Students in the comparison condition only reported significant decreases in fatigue over one session of the program but reported no significant changes in any of the other outcomes. Results from exploratory between-subject analyses also suggested that the Y4Y program’s impact on depression, stress and anxiety depended on the school setting in which they were implemented. These findings suggest that the Y4Y program improved emotion dysregulation in adolescent students. However, some of its benefits may be influenced by the school environment.

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