The Benefits of Exercise for the Mental Health of Incarcerated Adolescent Females

Correlations between physical exercise and mental health have been empirically tested and validated since they were first noted in 1976. Exercise has been found to be beneficial for adults and teens with a variety of presenting problems including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and chemical dependency issues. The juvenile delinquent population continues to rise as over two million arrests are made each year, demonstrating an increased need for juvenile service providers. Female juvenile arrests continue to rise as well, illustrating a need for enhanced treatment methodology. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate how exercise can be utilized as a treatment method in mental health settings. In order to demonstrate this alternative treatment to mental health issues, prior research and practical experience will be utilized to develop a method consistent with empirical findings. The project encompasses the mind/body connection, as well as the benefits exercise has on an individual’s private logic. An incarcerated individual, especially with the body image issues of a female, packs mistaken beliefs that can be a barrier to contemporary therapeutic techniques. When implemented, this project will adhere to the mind body connection, assist in mistaken beliefs that are a barrier to treatment, and will depict how private logic can be used as motivator to incorporate mental health with physical exercise.

Scott C. Burgi
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PDF icon Burgi MP 2012.pdf3.47 MB