Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Janiece DeSocio


Cheryl Cooke


Anxiety disorders, representing the most prevalent classification of mental health disorders across the world, pose a significant public health problem associated with burdensome costs (Baxter, Vos, Scott, Ferrari, & Whiteford, 2014; Greenberg et al., 1999). Although understanding about the etiology and effective treatments for anxiety disorders has grown, general preventative measures are not well-understood or implemented but are needed to reduce the disability and morbidity associated with this debilitating class of disorders. Research has identified perfectionism and self-criticism as risk factors for the development of anxiety disorders and mindful self-compassion (MSC) as a promising intervention to alleviate anxiety disorders (Dunkley, Blankstein, & Berg, 2012; Germer & Neff, 2013). Laying the foundation for youth to mitigate risks of anxiety disorders should be a top priority for the United States (U.S.) healthcare system. A focus on primary prevention is largely missing from healthcare, and the present paper represents an attempt to bridge this gap through a pilot project. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the efficacy, suitability, sustainability, and potential barriers to implementing a MSC and stress management (MSCSM) program in a nonclinical population of middle school youth. A 12-year old student participant (n=1) endorsed a drop in self-compassion as measured by the SCS-Y (Neff et al., 2021) from 3.76 pre-intervention to 3.35 post-intervention. College mentor participants reported benefitting from the program. Challenges of data collection for middle school participants were identified, benefits and barriers of the program were analyzed, and a sustainability proposal was offered.

Included in

Nursing Commons