Friday, December 25, 2015

NEW STUDY FINDS MINDFULNESS HELPS LOW-INCOME MINORITY YOUTHS

A school-based mindfulness program led to improved psychological functioning and lower levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms in low-income, minority youths, according to a recent randomized, controlled study.

The study analysed the effect of mindfulness instruction in fifth- through eighth-graders at two Baltimore City Public Schools. More than 99 per cent were both African-American and eligible for free lunch.


Researchers randomly assigned students to receive mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) instruction adapted from an adult program or general education on health topics (HT). Self-report survey data collected at baseline and post-program from 300 students were analysed in the report.

At baseline, the two groups had similar scores on measures of psychological functioning, mindfulness and trauma symptoms. At the end of the 12-week program, MBSR students reported significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms, somatization, negative affect, negative coping, rumination, self-hostility and post-traumatic symptom severity than HT students.

Study: Sibinga E M S, Webb L, Ghazarian S R, and Ellen J M. ‘School-based mindfulness instruction: an RCT.’ Pediatrics. December 18, 2015.



Addenda.

Here are two recent news items from Australia on the subject of mindfulness and school children:

1. Mindfulness relaxation undertaken by a Canberra ACT school has seen overwhelming benefits for its young students, teachers say. Thomas Neilson, from the University of Canberra, says schools nationwide need to look at implementing similar models to defuse rising stress levels in their students.

2. Following the successful Canberra trial, Clarence Valley NSW mindfulness coach John Shearer wants the NSW State Government to introduce mindfulness into the school curriculum.


IEJ. 10 January 2016.


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