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Perhaps teens are too cynical to benefit from mindfulness

26 September 2017

In the UK, more and more of our children are learning mindfulness at school. The Mindfulness in Schools project claims that over 4000 of our teachers are now trained in the practice. However, some experts are concerned that the roll-out of mindfulness has raced ahead of the evidence base, which paints a mixed picture.

Following their recent failure to find any benefits of a school mindfulness programme for teenagers (contrary to some earlier more positive findings), a research team led by Catherine Johnson at Flinders University has now reported in Behaviour Research and Therapy the results of their latest school trial, which included new features in the mindfulness intervention, such as parental involvement and better designed homework materials, intended to maximise the programme’s effectiveness. However, once again the mindfulness programme led to no observable benefits.

The nine-week Mindfulness Programme used in the current trial was based on the popular. Mindfulness in School’s curriculum, which features various elements, including: the eponymous “stop and be” (.b) technique that involves stopping, feeling your feet, feeling your breathing and being present; training in how to be more mindful in everyday activities; and relaxation practices. Daily practice at home was encouraged.

Read more on our Research Digest blog.


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