Hawkins, Mark Aeneas
The effects of Maharishi's Consciousness-Based approach to rehabilitation with inmates in Curacao

Order No. 9836283

An offender rehabilitation study was conducted at Strafgevangenis Federal Prison, Cura¨ao, the Netherlands Antilles from August 1994 to June 1995. Subjects (N = 300) were male and predominately of African descent but with a mixture of Portuguese, Dutch, East Indian, Chinese, or South American as well. The purpose of this multidimensional study was to test the effects of the practice of the Maharishi Transcendental MeditationSM technique on recognized psychosocial and cognitive predictors of criminal behavior. Subjects were tested on psychosocial measures of aggression (Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory), psychological distress and well-being (Mental Health Inventory), impulsiveness (Barratt Impulsivity Scale), cognitive distortion (How I Think Questionnaire), socially desirable responding (SDRS-5), self-esteem (Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale- -modified), and self-reported social behavior (created by the author). They were also tested on two cognitive performance measures which have been correlated to intelligence: field independence (Group Embedded Figures Test) and inspection time (Zhang's Inspection Time Test). Tests were translated into Spanish and Papiamentu and showed 90% word-to-word accuracy in reverse translation. These tests, including subscales, created twenty-one dependent variables that were reduced by principal components analysis to form six factors: Cognitive Distortion, Psychological Distress, Aggression, Impulsiveness, Intelligence- related Measures, and Psychological Well-being. Univariate analysis of covariance for effect of group on factor change scores showed a significant difference between groups on two factors: Cognitive Distortion (p = 0.036) and Intelligence- related Measures (p = 0.05), and a trend toward significance on the factor Psychological Well-being (p = 0.082). Low compliance to treatment and differential sensitivity of tests to treatment effects were considered the most likely causes for lack of results. However, the results that were obtained in the present study add further support to the claim that the practice of the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation technique is a useful rehabilitation tool that positively affects psychosocial and cognitive predictors of criminal behavior. Source: DAI, 59, no. 06B, (1998): 3093


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