Mindfulness training aids kids' attention

Mindfulness training can help to improve a child's attention span, new research has suggested. The study, presented today at the British Psychological Society's Joint Cognitive and Developmental Psychology Annual Conference at the University of Reading, found even a short course in mindfulness can lead to a child being better able to ignore distractions and concentrate more.

Conducted by Dominic Crehan and Dr Michelle Ellefson at the University of Cambridge, the investigation included thirty boys and girls, aged ten and eleven, who participated in mindfulness lessons as part of their school curriculum.

It was found that by taking the course, the children's ability to cope with distractions and remain focused was boosted.

Mr Crehan noted it is crucial - especially in school - for young people to pay attention, adding: "Mindfulness appears to have an effect after only a short training course, which the children thoroughly enjoyed." 

He explained the findings could prove helpful for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in particular.

The 2013 Joint Annual Conference Cognitive and Developmental Sections conference is taking place at the Univesrity of Reading and will run from the 4 – 6 September. The full programme can be accessed here. You can also follow the conference on Twitter.