Original Articles

Exploring Mindfulness in Self-Injuring Adolescents in a Psychiatric Setting

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 21, issue 2, 2011 , pages: 185–195
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2011.10820447
Author(s): Rümando KokNorth-West University, South Africa, Doret K. KirstenNorth-West University, South Africa, Karel F.H. BothaNorth-West University, South Africa


This study explored mindfulness amongst eight self-injuring psychiatric adolescents. A mixed-method design was used. Interviews and clinical records comprised the qualitative data, while quantitative data was gathered using the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ: Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer & Toney, 2006). Thematic analysis was used to generate themes and subthemes. Findings suggest that those who sometimes act mindfully tend to be more self-critical, report more severe injuries and more often self-punish. Those who often act mindfully self-injure more often, they show more self-compassion and report less severe injuries and less lethal methods. Mindfulness-based interventions might be useful in increasing mindfulness and decreasing self-injuring behaviour in psychiatric patients.

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