Lionheart Foundation Research Summary

The Lionheart Foundation conducts research on the efficacy of its emotional literacy programs to establish them as evidence-based. For further details please click on the following links:
Lionheart Prisoner Research                                                                                                            Houses of Healing Research published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 2005 and American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 2006 revealed significant statistical evidence that Lionheart’s Houses of Healing Program produces my of the results hoped for among prisoners, including decreases in hostility, depression and alexithymia (an inability to understand and manage emotions).

The Houses of Healing Surveys Two Houses of Healing surveys, one designed for inmates and the other for professionals and volunteers who work with inmates were mailed to approximately 200 institutions that received 10+ or more copies of the book Houses of Healing (HOH) within a three year period. 43% (86) responded to the survey. These same facilitators also received a survey designed for inmates. 435 inmate surveys were completed and returned. The first 55 professionals to return the surveys indicated that, in total, over 7400 inmates have participated in their groups. They further indicated that: over 70% have waiting lists for Houses of Healing programs. 90% indicated that they found HOH Houses of Healing highly beneficial in group work. The majority reported that participants engage in fewer physical and verbal altercations with peers; receive fewer rule infractions or punishment in the facility; and have greater concern and involvement with their own children and improving relations with their family. 78% reported that inmates have more insight into their offending behavior. They reported that inmates appear to have heightened resolve regarding doing “the right thing” and staying out of criminal activity after release.Future researchinto the effects of prisoner-facilitated Houses of Healing programs is in the planning states.

Lionheart Youth Research
Power Source Researchers at the New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN), the University of Miami, and the Lionheart Foundation in Boston, found that mindfulness training, a meditation-based therapy, can improve attention skills in incarcerated youth, paving the way to

greater self-control over emotions and actions. It is the first study to show that mindfulness training can be used in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (or “CBT/MT”), Power Source, to protect attentional functioning in high-risk incarcerated youth. Lionheart’s Power Source (PS) intervention holds great promise for effectively ameliorating the specific deficits that are linked to mental health and behavioral problems among incarcerated and high-risk youth. Research on Power Source, Lionheart’s psychoeducational programming for youth at risk, was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA; R01 DA 024764)

Lionheart Parenting Research
Power Source Parenting R34
The Power Source Parenting Program was developed after several years of piloting at numerous Teen Living Programs (group homes for teen mothers and their babies) under the auspices of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Results of pilot testing showed statistically significant decreases in self-reported parenting stress, increases on items measuring positive parenting attitudes including increased empathic awareness of childrens’ needs, increased appropriate developmental expectations of children, and decreases in the endorsement of corporal punishment. This data helped garner an R34 grant from the National Institutes of Health, which is currently being conducted by the New York University School of Nursing, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Lionheart Foundation in Teen Living Programs across Massachusetts. This latest study integrates groundbreaking technology developed by the Affective Computing Lab at MIT that assists participants to effectively apply the emotional regulation and parenting skills learned in Power Source Parenting in vivo. The response by participants has been overwhelmingly positive. Preliminary results from the R34 should be available in 8 months and plans to apply for a larger funding mechanism are underway.

Contact: – 781-444-6667 –