We theorize that mindfulness and compassion training tailored to forcibly displaced refugees will have significant salutary pro-social effects. By means of a randomized (active) control design, we will test whether Mindfulness-Based Trauma Recovery for Refugees (MBTR-R) has restorative pro-social effects on traumatized Eritrean asylum seekers. Pro-social outcomes include (i) Trust, (ii) Compassion, (iii) Pro-social inter-personal intention and action, (iv) Pro-social inter-generational intention and action, and (v) Community Connection. Because of the trauma- and stress-related mental health struggles faced by this population, secondary outcomes include (i) Posttraumatic stress, (ii) Depression, (iii) Anger and aggression, and (iv) Guilt and shame. We will use first-person (refugee experience), second-person (observer reports), and third-person (experimental behavioral tasks) measurement methods to quantify these salutary pro-social outcomes. Expected findings have implications for refugee social and mental health, for understanding how mindfulness and compassion may enable pro-social healing processes among forcibly displaced people, and ultimately for the role of contemplative science in the promotion of social justice and human rights.
Mind & Life Connections
Sheila Kinkade • September 5, 2023