The Impact of Heartfulness-based Elective on Middle School Students

Am J Health Behav. 2019 Jul 1;43(4):812-823. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.43.4.14.


Objectives: There is an increasing trend in the levels of stress, anxiety, and depression among adolescents aged 12 to 17. The Heartfulness Program for Schools (HPS) is a program designed to manage stress and build social-emotional skills to cope with real-life challenges. This quantitative study explores the impact of HPS customized for middle school students. Methods: Participants recruited from the 7th and 8th grade classrooms, including the HPS group (N = 74) and control group (N = 38), completed 2 surveys that measured levels of stress and well-being at baseline and after the completion of the 13-week elective. Results: Data collected from the pre-test resulted in similar baseline scores for both groups. Post-test findings revealed a statistically significant decrease in the stress levels in the HPS group showing improvement in coping skills, stress management, and increase in overall well-being. Conclusions: This study suggests that HPS helps reduce stress levels and improve well-being in children by cultivating positivity and fostering social and self-awareness. Integrating HPS in a school curriculum will benefit the students in building their emotional intelligence, and will nurture their relationship and mental well-being within and beyond the school.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Emotional Regulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • School Health Services*
  • Social Skills*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*