The Effects of Yoga and Meditation within a Male Correctional Institution
Kristen A. Cheslick
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania - Department of Nursing
Yoga and meditation have many documented benefits to include improved mental and physical health. Recent studies suggest that yoga and mindful meditation increase the ability to improve emotional regulation. Despite the research recommendations that support the use of yoga and meditation, they are not routinely used in the correctional environment. This project evaluated the effects of yoga and meditation on incarcerated males regarding emotional control. Twenty-four male inmates were recruited from a state prison and divided into a control and intervention group. Twelve of the male inmates selected had participated in a 12-week yoga program which was taught by a certified yoga instructor within the past 6 months. The control group did not participate in the yoga program and spent an equivalent amount of time performing typical gym and outdoor exercises. The Barratt Impulsivity Scale Version 11 and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale were utilized retrospectively to assess impulsivity and affect post yoga and exercise intervention. Overall, results did not show statistical significance, but results were desirable, and scores were in the expected direction and marginally significant. Some individual factors for the Barratt Impulsivity Scale did indicate statistical significance including self-control and cognitive complexity in the intervention group. Statistical significance was also indicated in the non-intervention group regarding cognitive instability, attentional impulsivity and non-planning impulsiveness. The results supported the PICOT statement that yoga and meditation interventions can have a positive influence on the emotional regulation of inmates in the correctional environment. Further research is recommended using a larger sample size.