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School-based mindfulness training to improve psychological well-being and prevent substance use among adolescents

Principal Investigator (PI) / Project Lead:


Funding Organization:

University of Utah Research Foundation  & College of Social Work


Research Incentive Seed Grant Program – College of Social Work

Award Number:


Project Period:

4/1/2022 – 3/31/2023, NCE 3/31/2024

Total Funding:


Project Status:



Project Description:

This study will examine adolescent psychological well-being and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among 80 participants in a quasiexperimental, school-based mindfulness-based intervention.



There is a broad consensus that preventing or delaying initiation of substance use can substantially improve both short- and long-term adolescent health. Adolescent substance use continues to be a substantial issue and further research on preventive interventions is needed. School-based mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) present a strong theoretical approach to reducing adolescent, but evidence of their effectiveness is currently limited. MBIs have been shown to be feasible and effective at improving adolescent psychological well-being as measured by lower levels of anxiety, depression, and stress, and improved emotional regulation. Many of the same factors associated with psychological well-being are also linked to adolescent substance use. This study will examine psychological well-being and adolescent substance use among 80 participants in a quasiexperimental, school-based adaptation of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE). MORE is an evidence-based therapeutic program that integrates mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and positive psychology to treat addiction and enhance well-being. This study is the first to test MORE as a preventive intervention among youth. Results of the current study will provide important information to advance the fields of both substance use prevention and school-based MBIs. Additionally, results of this study will be of wide interest to school administrators, school counselors, and clinicians working to prevent adolescent substance use. Successful completion of this study will lead to multiple publications, provide essential pilot data to inform further testing of MORE for adolescents via randomized controlled trials, and support multiple possible grant submissions.

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Last Updated: 4/4/24