PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Empowering Ugandan female youth with self-esteem, self-efficacy, and gratitude using Transcendental Meditation

Introducing a new theory of empowerment from within

Empowering Ugandan female youth with self-esteem, self-efficacy, and gratitude using Transcendental Meditation
2024-07-09
(Press-News.org) A peer-reviewed study published today in Health Care for Women International found that the Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) technique can empower the lives of female youth living under conditions of poverty in the city slums of Kampala, Uganda. Outcomes include increased self-esteem, self-efficacy, and gratitude; and decreased tiredness, worry, and excessive alcohol use. TM helped these young women improve their mental and physical health, as well as their relations with family and community members.

“The stress of dealing with economic instability, gender inequalities, food and shelter insecurity, limited access to education and employment, and domestic and community violence can take its toll,” said lead author Leslee Goldstein, PhD, senior researcher, Center for Social Emotional Health and Consciousness at Maharishi International University. “These conditions result in low self-esteem, inability to cope, tiredness and low energy, and hopelessness.”

Introducing a new Theory of Empowerment from Within

According to Goldstein, this new Theory of Empowerment from Within points out the importance of the experience of the innermost aspect of the self—the experience of pure consciousness or inner Being as the basis for building self-esteem—a critical component of empowerment.

The theory takes the current literature on empowerment a step further by highlighting the importance of transcending—a settling of the mind and body during the TM practice to allow for an experience of the inner core Self. This inner experience is accompanied by a reduction of deep stress, which allows for the essential nature of these young women to be lived and to shine.

Collaborating to empower female youth

According to Ugandan standards, youth range in age between 13 and 26. This study with 130 female youth was conducted in collaboration with two organizations: African Women and Girls Organization for Total Knowledge (AWAGO) under National Director Judith Nassali offers the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique to women and girls in Uganda. Empowered Women community organization under Founder and Director Goreti Katana provides workshops and training of women and girls for social wellbeing, skills development, economic empowerment, and leadership. TM has been added as one of their essential trainings. According to Nassali, “as leaders in the field helping women in our country, we find that empowerment does not come from outside, it must come from within oneself.”

“The findings of this study are extremely significant for development of psychological health and building empowerment,” said co-author Andra Smith PhD, professor of psychology at University of Ottawa, Canada. “Self-esteem is a major factor for internal wellbeing for female youth. This is an age when major physical and psychological developmental changes are taking place, a time of self-evaluation and development of self-worth and self-image. This research brings validity to the Transcendental Meditation technique as a helpful tool for these young women at a critical age.”

Study design and outcomes

This longitudinal study—with a pre-test at baseline and a post-test at five months—found statistically significant increases in self-esteem, the primary outcome measure, as well as self-efficacy, and gratitude. Also found were significant reductions in tiredness, alcohol use, worry and fatigue. The clinically strongest effects noticed by participants, family, and members of the community were improved self-esteem, and reduced excessive alcohol use.

At 8 months, a short-answer questionnaire was completed by 114 participants (88%) showing improvements in physical health, decreased stress and anxiety, and improved relationships with family members and neighbors.

Co-author Daniela Romagnoli, PhD and professor at Pennsylvania State University said that this study provides information to researchers, practitioners, and organizations looking for tools to mitigate stress and develop self-empowerment. “Often, young women in developing countries who face similar stressful situations are marginalized as a population and can’t find a way out without assistance and tools to help them. This study brings attention to their plight and offers an evidence-based technique. This research has wide applicability.” 

Comments from study participants

“I have improved in health and mentally, and even other people notice the change in me. After meditating I feel free, and my ability to do work has increased. I have improved in class performance and my relationships with others have also improved. I can control myself better now.” (NS, age 16)

“Before learning TM, my relationship with my family members was not much as it is these days after learning TM. Now I love everyone, and I feel happiness inside me. When I’m with them, especially children, you find me carrying them and playing with them, which was not there before.” (NJP, age 24)

“I am a single mother of three boys. Before learning TM I was constantly worried about supporting my family. But that has changed now. I feel much stronger and more confident in my ability to provide for my family.” (MA, age 26)

“I dropped out of school after my senior three. I am now married and have a child. I used to worry a lot and get into arguments all the time. After meditating consistently, I feel less worried. I do not get into arguments anymore. I even have more time to pursue my goals. Currently, I am enrolled in a hairdressing course.” (NJ, age 21) 

Authors’ Conclusion

The authors conclude that TM allows these female youth to better cope with the challenges they face and gives them a greater appreciation of both their ability to engage in and impact the world around them. This shift starts with empowerment from within.

This research was supported by funding from The Rona and Jeffery Abramson Foundation, which is interested in improving the mental health of women through Transcendental Meditation.

About the Transcendental Meditation Technique

Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It is easily learned, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. It does not involve concentration, control of the mind, contemplation, or monitoring of thoughts or breathing. The practice allows the active thinking mind to settle down to a state of inner calm. For more information visit https://www.tm.org.

END

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Empowering Ugandan female youth with self-esteem, self-efficacy, and gratitude using Transcendental Meditation Empowering Ugandan female youth with self-esteem, self-efficacy, and gratitude using Transcendental Meditation 2 Empowering Ugandan female youth with self-esteem, self-efficacy, and gratitude using Transcendental Meditation 3

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Brian Wachtel is promoted to Chief Development Officer at NFCR

2024-07-09
The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) proudly announces the promotion of Brian Wachtel to Chief Development Officer. Brian will continue his responsibilities as the Executive Director, and his expanded role will further enhance his leadership within the organization. Brian joined the National Foundation for Cancer Research in September 2016 as the Director of Corporate Partnerships & Special Events. In that capacity, he was in charge of organizing and expanding NFCR’s community outreach events. One of his important ...

Digital self-harm surges among U.S. teens from 2016 to 2021

Digital self-harm surges among U.S. teens from 2016 to 2021
2024-07-09
Adolescents worldwide have embraced social media and online platforms for self-expression and to explore their identity. This freedom, however, can lead to risky behaviors, especially with limited adult supervision. For example, digital self-harm is a recent, emerging trend where individuals anonymously post or share hurtful content about themselves online. This behavior can be mistaken for mistreatment by others, yet the perpetrator and victim are the same person. First identified in 2010, digital self-harm has not received the same amount of scholarly scrutiny as other forms of self-directed abuse and has not been widely addressed by adults ...

UTSA joins new consortium dedicated to nuclear security and nonproliferation

UTSA joins new consortium dedicated to nuclear security and nonproliferation
2024-07-09
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has joined one of two newly established university consortia committed to nuclear security and nonproliferation. The consortia were awarded $50 million in cooperative agreements by the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE NNSA). “The pressing challenges of nuclear security and nonproliferation require a concerted effort from experts across the country,” said JoAnn Browning, UTSA interim vice president for research. ...

Diabetes increases the risk of failure in spinal fusion procedures

Diabetes increases the risk of failure in spinal fusion procedures
2024-07-09
A new study from orthopaedic researchers at The University of Toledo has found lumbar spinal fusion procedures are far more likely to fail in individuals with diabetes. “We’ve known for a long time that diabetic patients are at high risk of infection from any surgery, including spinal fusion,” said Dr. Hossein Elgafy, a professor of orthopaedics in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and chief of spine surgery at UTMC. “More recently, however, physicians have taken a closer look at the high ...

Brain-computer interface therapy for stroke survivors

Brain-computer interface therapy for stroke survivors
2024-07-09
A personalized brain-computer interface therapy, RehabSwift, significantly enhances hand mobility for stroke survivors. Strokes often lead to impaired hand function, presenting substantial challenges in daily activities. Sam Darvishi and colleagues developed and tested a brain-computer interface therapy that translates imagined hand movements into real actions using a personalized algorithm and bionic hands. The study involved twelve chronic stroke survivors from South Australia who had limited use of their arms but retained clear thinking abilities. Throughout 18 sessions, participants used the RehabSwift system, which included a special cap that ...

SynGAP Research Fund (SRF) increases support for SYNGAP1 organoid research at the University of Southern California’s Quadrato Lab

SynGAP Research Fund (SRF) increases support for SYNGAP1 organoid research at the University of Southern California’s Quadrato Lab
2024-07-09
MILL VALLEY, Calif. – July 9, 2024 – SynGAP Research Fund (SRF), a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from SYNGAP1-Related Disorders (SRD) through the research and development of treatments, therapies, and support systems, has awarded a $130,000 grant to the University of Southern California’s Quadrato Lab to inspect and stratify the effects of specific SYNGAP1 variants on their patient-derived neuronal model system, furthering the world’s understanding ...

Study finds 1 in 12 patients labeled as having ‘benign’ results actually had high-risk prostate cancer

2024-07-09
New research highlights the challenge of balancing the risks of overdiagnosing and underdiagnosing prostate cancer early enough to intervene and minimize risk of death. Recently, some experts have called for the lowest grade of prostate cancer—biopsy Gleason Grade Group (GGG) 1—to be reclassified as ‘benign.’ But a new study led by a researcher from Mass General Brigham has found that many patients with a biopsy GGG1 may have a more aggressive cancer than their biopsy alone suggests. By looking at data from more than 10,000 patients at a university in Germany, researchers found that at least 8 percent of patients with this ...

Marcos Vilela wins Lilly Research Award for Doctoral Students

Marcos Vilela wins Lilly Research Award for Doctoral Students
2024-07-09
The Royal Spanish Society of Chemistry (RSEQ) and Lilly have announced the winning theses of the 22nd Research Awards for Doctoral Students, which acknowledge outstanding work in the fields of Organic, Pharmaceutical, and Analytical Chemistry. Marcos Vilela, currently pursuing his PhD at the Center for Research in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Materials (CiQUS) at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), was awarded alongside Andrea Palone from the University of Girona (UdG) and the University of Rome "Tor Vergata," and Beatriz Arévalo from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Marcos' thesis, supervised by CiQUS Principal ...

Trust, more than knowledge, critical for acceptance of fully autonomous vehicles

2024-07-09
PULLMAN, Wash. –  While not yet on the market, fully autonomous vehicles are promoted as a way to make road travel dramatically safer, but a recent study found that knowing more about them did not improve people’s perception of their risk. They needed to have more trust in them too. This study adds to the evidence from other research that knowledge alone is not enough to sway people’s attitudes toward complex technology and science, such as gene editing or climate change. In this case, Washington State University researchers found that trust in the autonomous vehicles’ reliability and performance played the strongest role in improving ...

Run screaming or slow retreat? New study advances understanding of brain responses to emotionally-charged scenes

2024-07-09
The ability to recognise and respond to emotionally-charged situations is essential to a species’ evolutionary success. A new study published today [July 9th] in Nature Communications advances our understanding of how the brain responds to emotionally charged objects and scenes.  The research, led by Trinity College Dublin neuroscientist Prof. Sonia Bishop and Google researcher Samy Abdel-Ghaffar while he was a PhD student in Prof. Bishop's lab at UC Berkeley, has identified how the brain represents different categories of emotional stimuli in a way that allows for ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Link found between kneecap shape and debilitating joint disease

Generative AI tools like Pix2Pix–BicycleGAN are revolutionizing landscape design by enhancing masterplan generation and rendering

Expanding APAC presence, Insilico Medicine seals strategic collaboration on AI-driven mash therapy development with Korean Biotech Therasid Bioscience

When it comes to butterflies, people prefer pretty ones. That’s a problem for scientists.

UBC Okanagan study raises concerns about partner violence in queer relationships

Human-infecting parasite produces sterile soldiers like ants and termites

The unintended consequences of success against malaria

Taco-shaped arthropod from Royal Ontario Museum’s Burgess Shale fossils gives new insights into the history of the first mandibulates

Butterflies accumulate enough static electricity to attract pollen without contact, new research finds

Eyes for Love: Searching for light and a mate in the deep, dark sea, male dragonfishes grow larger eyes than the females they seek

PNNL scientists tap nation’s fastest computers to explore critical science questions

Peri-operative care of transgender and gender-diverse individuals: new guidance for clinicians and departments published

Clinical psychologist’s book addresses largely ignored problem: social anxiety

Researchers leveraging AI to train (robotic) dogs to respond to their masters

Drawing water from dry air

Combining trapped atoms and photonics for new quantum devices

A new way to make element 116 opens the door to heavier atoms

New genetic tool could identify drug targets for diseases associated with metabolic dysfunction

Plant Biologist Siobhan Brady named HHMI Investigator

Long-acting injectable cabotegravir for HIV prevention is safe in pregnancy

Large language models don’t behave like people, even though we may expect them to

NREL researchers highlight opportunities for manufacturing perovskite solar panels with a long-term vision

Top Medicare advantage plans less available in disadvantaged areas

Better carbon storage better carbon storage with stacked geology with stacked geology

Sharp temperature reduction for quantum dots in polymer by highly efficient heat dissipation pathways

UAF researcher creates way to detect elusive volcanic vibrations

Lissajous pattern multi-pass cell: Enhancing high sensitivity and simultaneous dual-gas LITES sensing

Asexual reproduction usually leads to a lack of genetic diversity. Not for these ants.

Mini lungs make major COVID-19 discoveries possible

Exploratory analysis associates HIV drug abacavir with elevated cardiovascular disease risk in large global trial

[Press-News.org] Empowering Ugandan female youth with self-esteem, self-efficacy, and gratitude using Transcendental Meditation
Introducing a new theory of empowerment from within