Psychology ETDs

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Latinos comprise a sizeable and growing population in the U.S. that experiences unmet health needs and health inequities, and could benefit from increased participation in health-promoting interventions, including Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). This study examined an adapted version of MBSR (MBSR-A) designed to increase the retention and effectiveness of this intervention for Latino populations. Thirty Latino individuals, primarily from the South Valley community of Albuquerque, enrolled in the course. The retention rate in the current study was 86% compared to the 60-66% retention attained in previous MBSR studies with Latinos. Analyses revealed pre to post improvements in a variety of health-related, potential mediator, and mindfulness variables. Anxiety, depression, resilience, and perceived stress demonstrated the strongest and most frequent associations with improvements in potential mediator and mindfulness variables. Of the potential mediator measures, decentering, self-regulation, reflection, and rumination demonstrated the strongest relationships with improvements in mindfulness and health outcomes over the course of the intervention. Qualitative findings revealed that the most common barrier to Latino retention in MBSR was related to time constraints, while derived emotional/ psychological benefits were the most frequently cited motivators for completing the MBSR program. In addition, ethnic identity emerged as a protective factor for retention of Latinos in MBSR. The results of the current study support the preliminary use of MBSR-A in increasing engagement, retention, mindfulness, and health-related outcomes among Latino individuals. Implications of these findings for future research and clinical work with this population are discussed.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Smith, Jane Ellen

Second Committee Member

Venner, Kamilla

Third Committee Member

Shelley, Brian M.

Fourth Committee Member

Perry, Christina




Mindfulness, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Latino, Hispanic, Health disparities, Motivational Interviewing

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