Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a school-based mindfulness intervention for urban youth

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2010 Oct;38(7):985-94. doi: 10.1007/s10802-010-9418-x.


Youth in underserved, urban communities are at risk for a range of negative outcomes related to stress, including social-emotional difficulties, behavior problems, and poor academic performance. Mindfulness-based approaches may improve adjustment among chronically stressed and disadvantaged youth by enhancing self-regulatory capacities. This paper reports findings from a pilot randomized controlled trial assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a school-based mindfulness and yoga intervention. Four urban public schools were randomized to an intervention or wait-list control condition (n=97 fourth and fifth graders, 60.8% female). It was hypothesized that the 12-week intervention would reduce involuntary stress responses and improve mental health outcomes and social adjustment. Stress responses, depressive symptoms, and peer relations were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Findings suggest the intervention was attractive to students, teachers, and school administrators and that it had a positive impact on problematic responses to stress including rumination, intrusive thoughts, and emotional arousal.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Arousal
  • Attention
  • Awareness
  • Baltimore
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / ethnology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Learning Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Learning Disabilities / ethnology
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Learning Disabilities / therapy*
  • Male
  • Minority Groups / psychology
  • Peer Group
  • Pilot Projects
  • Poverty Areas*
  • School Health Services*
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Urban Population*
  • Yoga / psychology*