with Matthew Goodman
Research on mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in youth continues to grow. Conclusions regarding the effects of MBIs, however, are currently tempered by methodological issues. One limitation is the reliability and validity of assessments used to measure mindfulness in youth. Existing instruments rely on self-report, which, in addition to obvious limitations involved in self-reported behavior, are further complicated by the unique construct of “mindfulness” itself. Researchers, clinicians, educators, and policymakers would benefit from a clearer understanding of how MBIs influence mindfulness and the associated outcomes that mindfulness is proposed to mediate (e.g., anxiety, academic achievement, or prosocial behavior). Developing sound assessments is thus instrumental to advancing the field and the many domains of society it influences.
The aims of this presentation are to:
- discuss methodological issues in the assessment of mindfulness in youth,
- review available instruments that assess mindfulness in youth, while offering recommendations on use for clinicians, researchers, and others working with specific populations, and
- offer insight into how to improve assessment instruments and procedures in this population.
Participants will learn about the complexities and paradoxes of assessing mindfulness; which mindfulness measure might be most useful for their particular purpose (e.g., research vs. clinical work); alternative assessment approaches for youth; cultural and diversity issues involved in assessment with youth; and innovative, creative, and practical ways to advance the assessment of mindfulness in youth forward.
Matthew Goodman is a Ph.D. student at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego. His dissertation is evaluating the impact of a school-based mindfulness curriculum called “Inner Explorer” on executive functioning, emotion regulation, heart rate variability, and academic achievement in elementary school students. Matthew’s previous research has focused on social-emotional learning curricula in elementary schools and innovative approaches to enhancing self-regulation (i.e. neurofeedback and biofeedback) in autism spectrum disorder. Matthew has worked clinically with children with autism and adults with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders. He is currently completing a practicum at the UC San Diego Regional Burn Center, using mindfulness in combination with behavioral therapies to help patients cope with pain and acute psychological distress. Matthew is a Registered Psychological Assistant at New Mindful Life where he offers psychotherapy to children and adults, in addition teaching drop-in meditation classes and workshops to the public. He is a Board Certified Biofeedback practitioner and incorporates heart rate variability biofeedback into research and clinical practice.