Feasibility and Preliminary Outcomes of a School-Based Mindfulness Intervention for Urban Youth

Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.09). 05/2010; 38(7):985-94. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-010-9418-x
Source: PubMed


Youth in underserved, urban communities are at risk for a range of negative outcomes related to stress, including social-emotional difficulties, behavior problems, and poor academic performance. Mindfulness-based approaches may improve adjustment among chronically stressed and disadvantaged youth by enhancing self-regulatory capacities. This paper reports findings from a pilot randomized controlled trial assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a school-based mindfulness and yoga intervention. Four urban public schools were randomized to an intervention or wait-list control condition (n=97 fourth and fifth graders, 60.8% female). It was hypothesized that the 12-week intervention would reduce involuntary stress responses and improve mental health outcomes and social adjustment. Stress responses, depressive symptoms, and peer relations were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Findings suggest the intervention was attractive to students, teachers, and school administrators and that it had a positive impact on problematic responses to stress including rumination, intrusive thoughts, and emotional arousal.

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Available from: Mark T Greenberg, Oct 03, 2015
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    • "Compared with the control group, students in the mindfulness intervention group demonstrated significant improvements on their response to stress. These findings suggest that mindfulness-based activities can be effective in reducing children's worrying thoughts—a key component of anxiety (Mendelson et al., 2010). Given these results, it is important to determine the specific benefits of mindfulness on anxiety within the classroom context. "
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    Journal of Applied School Psychology 08/2015; 31(3):239-255. DOI:10.1080/15377903.2015.1056925
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    • "Yoga is a popular and comparatively inexpensive intervention that many schools are integrating into their curriculums to address an increasing need for self-regulatory skills such as emotion regulation. Significant results have been reported regarding improved anger management and impulse control, as well as a decrease in negative emotion for students in a yoga intervention [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15], implying that perhaps some regulatory processes are indeed being impacted by yoga. However, only two studies have looked directly at emotion regulation as a construct [16] [17]. "
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    • "Moreover, this study demonstrates the feasibility of integrating school-based population-level mindful yoga into existing curricular structures and supports the ecological validity of such approaches for sustainability . The findings from this study reinforce research on mindfulness-based approaches, including mindful yoga, that conclude that such programs promote self-regulation among adults (Jha et al. 2007), adolescents (Mendelson et al. 2010), and young children (Flook et al. 2010; Razza et al. 2013), and are both feasible and promising (Burke 2009; Conboy et al. 2013; Harnett and Dawe 2012; Telles et al. 2013). As has noted in the Mindful Schools Project, mindfulness for young people is relatively easy to implement across a range of contexts, is enjoyed by students and teachers, and does no harm (Weare 2013). "
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