The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Children's Attention Regulation

J Atten Disord. 2017 Aug;21(10):872-881. doi: 10.1177/1087054714548032. Epub 2014 Aug 29.


Objective: This article describes results from a randomized clinical trial of a mindfulness-based intervention for parents and children, Mindful Family Stress Reduction, on a behavioral measure of attention in youths, the Attention Network Task (ANT).

Method: Forty-one parent-child dyads were randomly assigned to either the mindfulness-based intervention condition or a wait-list control. School-age youths completed the ANT before and after the intervention.

Results: Results demonstrate significant, medium-size ( f2 = -.16) intervention effects to the conflict monitoring subsystem of the ANT such that those in the intervention condition decreased in conflict monitoring more than those in the wait-list control. Youths in the intervention condition also showed improvements in their orienting subsystem scores, compared with controls.

Conclusion: Mindfulness-based interventions for youths have potential utility to improve attentional self-regulation, and future research should consider incorporating measures of attention into interventions that use mindfulness training.

Keywords: Attention Network Test; Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction; children; family; mindfulness; randomized controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention / physiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Child
  • Family Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology
  • Self-Control
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology