Nurturing Mindfulness in Children and Youth: Current State of Research

Authors


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mark T. Greenberg, Prevention Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, Henderson S., University Park, PA 16802; e-mail: mxg47@psu.edu.

Abstract

Abstract— This article reviews the current state of research on contemplative practices with children and youth. It reviews contemplative practices used both in treatment settings and in prevention or health promotion contexts, including school-based programs. Although there is great interest and potential promise for contemplative interventions, enthusiasm for promoting such practices outweighs the current evidence supporting them. Interventions that nurture mindfulness in children and youth may be a feasible and effective method of building resilience in universal populations and in the treatment of disorders in clinical populations. This review suggests that meditation and yoga may be associated with beneficial outcomes for children and youth, but the generally limited quality of research tempers the allowable conclusions. Well-designed experimental studies that are grounded in developmental theory and measure multiple indicators of change must fully test the efficacy of such interventions.

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