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17-12-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 3/2020

Mindfulness 3/2020

A Review of Latino/Latinx Participants in Mindfulness-Based Intervention Research

Mindfulness > Uitgave 3/2020
Elizabeth W. Cotter, Naya Jones
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Mindfulness-based programs (MBPs) have become increasingly popular in the treatment of stress and a variety of other health concerns. Recent research has considered the usefulness of MBPs for youth and adults from historically-underserved and -marginalized populations who experience race-related stress and health disparities; however, the use of MBPs for Latinx populations is not well understood. This review examined the feasibility and efficacy of MBPs in peer-reviewed studies wherein the majority of participants identified as either Latino or Hispanic. To practice inclusivity beyond male/female binaries, the term “Latinx” is used here.


A systematic literature search across 5 databases yielded 20 articles eligible for inclusion.


Generally, the existing research suggests that MBPs are feasible and acceptable in Latinx populations, and may yield positive changes in a variety of psychosocial and health-related outcomes, including mental health symptomatology (e.g., depression, anxiety), health behaviors (e.g., HIV transmission–related behaviors), and physical health indicators (e.g., BMI), although the majority of studies did not include a control group thereby limiting causal inference. Effect sizes ranged from small to large with stronger effects typically seen for mental health–related outcomes.


Limitations of the existing research include small sample sizes, a lack of rigor in intervention design, and limited description of how interventions might be culturally or socially adapted. From an interdisciplinary perspective, recommendations for future research are described, including suggestions for culturally relevant adaptations to MBPs (e.g., congruent emotion regulation techniques, analogies) and anti-oppression practices for practitioners (e.g., understanding race-based trauma and deep listening).

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