Sitting-Meditation Interventions Among Youth: A Review of Treatment Efficacy

University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, Alhambra, CA 91803-4737, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 09/2009; 124(3):e532-41. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-3434
Source: PubMed


Although the efficacy of meditation interventions has been examined among adult samples, meditation treatment effects among youth are relatively unknown. We systematically reviewed empirical studies for the health-related effects of sitting-meditative practices implemented among youth aged 6 to 18 years in school, clinic, and community settings.
A systematic review of electronic databases (PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science, Cochrane Reviews Database, Google Scholar) was conducted from 1982 to 2008, obtaining a sample of 16 empirical studies related to sitting-meditation interventions among youth.
Meditation modalities included mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Study samples primarily consisted of youth with preexisting conditions such as high-normal blood pressure, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities. Studies that examined physiologic outcomes were composed almost entirely of African American/black participants. Median effect sizes were slightly smaller than those obtained from adult samples and ranged from 0.16 to 0.29 for physiologic outcomes and 0.27 to 0.70 for psychosocial/behavioral outcomes.
Sitting meditation seems to be an effective intervention in the treatment of physiologic, psychosocial, and behavioral conditions among youth. Because of current limitations, carefully constructed research is needed to advance our understanding of sitting meditation and its future use as an effective treatment modality among younger populations.

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Available from: Steve Sussman, Apr 29, 2014
    • "Mindfulness, a form of meditation, involves nonjudgmental observation of the present moment (Ludwig & Kabat-Zinn, 2008). Mindfulness training for children and adolescents may be effective in the treatment of physiological , psychosocial and behavioral conditions (Black, Milam, & Sussman, 2009). A small pilot study of an 8-week mindfulness training program for 10 adolescents (aged 11-15) with ADHD, showed reduction in attention and behavioral problems and improvements in executive function as reported by parents and tutors. "
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