Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Science


Razza, Rachel A.

Subject Categories

Family, Life Course, and Society | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


The purpose of this study was to explore the impact participating in a mindfulness-based intervention would have on various markers of well-being, including self-compassion, long-term self-regulation, and involuntary stress response for urban adolescents. This study evaluated how the individual factors of gender, grade level, and baseline extraversion/surgency are associated with the effect of the intervention on well-being outcomes. Participants in the final analytic sample included 1,809 students in ninth (316), eleventh (1258), and twelfth (235) grade from two public high schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The intervention was delivered by instructors trained in the Inner Strength Teen Program and classes took place once a week for 12 weeks and were approximately 50 minutes in length. Adolescents completed self-report measures tapping the markers of well-being at pre- and posttest. Data was analyzed using a series of repeated-measures and mixed-model ANCOVAS to investigate the effectiveness of the intervention on promoting well-being as well as the changes in those variables that are associated with gender, developmental timing, and extraversion/surgency. Results indicated that participation in the Inner Strength Teen Program may promote self-compassion, reduce rumination, and increase involuntary action. Significant changes were not found in physiological arousal, emotional arousal, intrusive thoughts, or long-term self-regulation. Adolescent females experienced greater increases in their self-compassion in comparison to adolescent males. Ninth grade students experienced greater increases in their self-regulation and greater reductions in their emotional arousal, involuntary action, and total involuntary engagement scores in comparison to eleventh and twelfth grade students. The high-intensity pleasure facet of extraversion/surgency was found to be significantly associated with changes in self-compassion and marginally associated with changes in long-term self-regulation. No other significant gender or grade level differences were found. These findings highlight how individual factors may play a role in mindfulness-based school intervention outcomes.Key words: Adolescence, mindfulness, self-compassion, self-regulation, stress, gender, developmental timing, temperament


Open Access