Improve Elementary School Children Behavior with Mindfulness

Improve Elementary School Children Behavior with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Research shows that mindfulness skills improve memory, organizational skills, reading and math scores, all while giving kids the tools they need to handle toxic stress.” – Michelle Kinder

 

Elementary school environments have a huge effect on development. They are also excellent times to teach children the skills to adaptively negotiate its environment. Mindfulness training in school, at all levels has been shown to have very positive effects. These include academic, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. Importantly, mindfulness training in school appears to improve the student’s self-concept. It also improves attentional ability and reduces stress, which are keys to successful learning in school. Since, what occurs in the early years of school can have such a profound, long-term effect on the child it is important to further study the impact of mindfulness training on elementary school children.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of a School-Based Mindfulness Program for Young Children.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046640/ )  Sciutto and colleagues recruited kindergarten through 3rd grade children aged 5 to 9 years. They were assigned to either receive an 8-week 16 session mindfulness program or to a 4-week delay before the mindfulness program. The teachers rated the children’s behavior for emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer problems, prosocial behavior, and student engagement. Teacher engagement was also measured.

 

During the 4-week delay period there were no significant changes in the children’s behavior. But over the 8-week mindfulness training period there was a significant increase in prosocial behaviors and decrease in externalizing behaviors. This was true for all classes except kindergarten. They also found that the higher the levels of teacher engagement and student engagement, the higher the levels of prosocial behaviors and the lower the levels of externalizing behaviors.

 

These are interesting results that suggest that mindfulness training in elementary school children improves their behaviors. Prosocial behaviors including sharing, helping, and cooperating were improved. In fact, the mindfulness program specifically included training in mindful prosocial behavior. So, it was not surprising that these behaviors were improved. Externalizing behaviors including hyperactivity and conduct problems were also improved. Since, these behaviors interfere with instruction and student learning, it would be expected that their reduction would contribute to overall learning, although this was not measured.

 

In addition, the engagement in the program of teachers and students appears to be very important for the benefits to accrue. Hence, strides should be taken to insure engagement. Overall, the results indicate that the mindfulness program is beneficial for the children and the learning environment. It would be interesting to explore whether these effects are transitory or improve student behavior as they progress through the years.

 

So, improve elementary school children behavior with mindfulness.

 

For children, mindfulness can offer relief from whatever difficulties they might be encountering in life. It also gives them the beauty of being in the present moment.” – Annika Harris

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sciutto, M. J., Veres, D. A., Marinstein, T. L., Bailey, B. F., & Cehelyk, S. K. (2021). Effects of a School-Based Mindfulness Program for Young Children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1–12. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-021-01955-x

 

Abstract

Schools are an attractive setting for implementation of mindfulness-based programs because mindfulness practices, by their very nature, align with a wide range of core educational goals. The present study investigated the effects of an 8-week (16 session) school-based mindfulness program for young children across 8 classrooms (K through 2) using a quasi-experimental delayed-intervention control group design. Results indicated that the mindfulness program was associated with significant improvements in teacher ratings of externalizing and prosocial behaviors. Program outcomes were not associated with child sex or race/ethnicity, but did vary by grade. Descriptive analyses suggest that outcomes tended to be more positive in classrooms with higher levels of teacher and student engagement. Results of the present study add to the growing knowledge base on the positive effects of school-based mindfulness programs and point to a need for more rigorous inquiry into the extent to which students and teachers are engaged with mindfulness programs both during the program itself and in their day to day functioning.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046640/

 

Mindfulness’ Association with Well-Being is Diminished by Adverse Childhood Experiences

Mindfulness’ Association with Well-Being is Diminished by Adverse Childhood Experiences

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness instruction may mitigate the negative effects of stress and trauma related to adverse childhood exposures, improving short- and long-term outcomes, and potentially reducing poor health outcomes in adulthood.” – Robin Ortiz

 

Childhood trauma can leave in its wake symptoms which can haunt the victims for the rest of their lives. These include persistent recurrent re-experiencing of the traumatic event, including flashbacks and nightmares, loss of interest in life, detachment from other people, increased anxiety and emotional arousal, including outbursts of anger, difficulty concentration, and jumpiness, startling easily. Unfortunately, childhood maltreatment can continue to affect mental and physical health throughout the individual’s life. How individuals cope with childhood maltreatment helps determine the effects of the maltreatment on their mental health.

 

It has been found that experiencing the feelings and thoughts produced by trauma completely allows for better coping. This can be provided by mindfulness. Indeed, mindfulness has been found to be effective for relieving trauma symptoms. But it is not known how mindfulness interacts with adverse childhood experiences to impact psychological well-being later on.

 

In today’s Research News article “Adverse Childhood Experiences and Psychological Well-Being in Chinese College Students: Mediation Effect of Mindfulness.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7915366/ ) Huang and colleagues recruited college juniors and seniors online and had them complete measures of psychological well-being, mindfulness, and adverse childhood experiences (“including abuse (psychological, physical, or sexual), neglect, household challenges such as violence perpetrated against mother and cohabitation with individuals who use substances or have mental illness or incarceration history, from the first 18 years of life”.)

 

They found that the students for the most part experienced low levels of adverse childhood experiences with an average of 0.69 experiences. They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the greater the levels of psychological well-being and the lower the levels of adverse childhood experiences. In addition, the higher the levels of adverse childhood experiences, the lower the levels of psychological well-being. A mediation analysis revealed that adverse childhood experiences were associated with reduced levels of psychological well-being directly and also indirectly by being associated with lower levels of mindfulness, lowering their ability to improve psychological well-being.

 

These findings are correlational and as such conclusions regarding causation cannot be conclusively drawn. But previous controlled research has demonstrated that mindfulness improves psychological well-being, and lowers the symptoms of trauma, and that trauma diminishes well-being. So the present findings likely also represent causal linkages. Hence, the results suggest that mindfulness is good for the psychological well-being of college students but mindfulness is diminished by adverse childhood experiences and these experiences also directly decrease the students’ well-being.

 

Trauma during the early years of life can have a negative impact on the individual for the rest of their lives. The fact that mindfulness can mitigate these effects is heartening. It suggests the mindfulness training should be routinely implemented for individuals who experienced trauma in their formative years.

 

So, mindfulness’ association with well-being is diminished by adverse childhood experiences.

 

mindfulness training may enable those experiencing post-traumatic stress to be better able to inhibit or reduce the pernicious cycle of negative thoughts, feelings, and memories that accompany traumatic stress.” – B. Grace Bullock

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are a also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Huang, C. C., Tan, Y., Cheung, S. P., & Hu, H. (2021). Adverse Childhood Experiences and Psychological Well-Being in Chinese College Students: Mediation Effect of Mindfulness. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4), 1636. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041636

 

Abstract

Literature on the antecedents of psychological well-being (PWB) has found that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and mindfulness are associated with PWB; less is known, however, about the role of mindfulness, a type of emotional and self-regulation, in the pathway between ACEs and PWB. This study used data from 1871 college students across China to examine the relation between ACEs and PWB, and whether the relation was mediated by mindfulness. The findings from structural equation modelling indicate a statistically significant negative association between ACEs and PWB, while mindfulness was strongly and positively associated with PWB. The effect of ACEs on PWB was reduced once mindfulness was controlled for in the analysis. This provides evidence that mindfulness was able to partially mediate the effects of negative life experiences on psychological well-being. This calls for mindfulness interventions targeted toward students with a history of ACEs to buffer the effects of ACEs on PWB.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7915366/

 

Improve Physical and Mental Well-Being with Mindfulness Meditation-Based Interventions

Improve Physical and Mental Well-Being with Mindfulness Meditation-Based Interventions

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness meditation is related to improved mental health across a variety of disorders, including different anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and chronic pain symptom reduction.” – Jennifer Wolkin

 

Over the last several decades, research and anecdotal experiences have accumulated an impressive evidential case that the development of mindfulness has positive benefits for the individual’s mental, physical, and spiritual life. Mindfulness appears to be beneficial both for healthy people and for people suffering from a myriad of mental and physical illnesses. It appears to be beneficial across ages, from children to the elderly. And it appears to be beneficial across genders, personalities, race, and ethnicity. The breadth and depth of benefits is unprecedented. There is no other treatment or practice that has been shown to come anyway near the range of mindfulness’ positive benefits.

 

Over the last few decades, a vast amount of research has been published on the benefits of mindfulness practices on the mental and physical health of the practitioners. Many reviews, summarizations, and meta-analyses have been performed of these studies. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what these meta-analyses have found.

 

In today’s Research News article “The empirical status of mindfulness-based interventions: A systematic review of 44 meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://centerhealthyminds.org/assets/files-publications/Goldberg-the-empirical-status.pdf ) Goldberg and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of previous meta-analyses of published randomized controlled studies on benefits of sustained meditation practices on mental and physical well-being. They identified 44 published meta-analyses, representing 336 randomized controlled trials, which included a total of 30,483 participants.

 

They report that the meta-analyses of published randomized controlled trials found that sustained mindfulness meditation practices in comparison to passive, no treatment, controls had a very wide range of beneficial effects across a wide range of participants from children to the elderly, over a variety of programs from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to mobile health, over a variety of psychological issues from anxiety to psychoses, and over a wide range of diseases from chronic pain to cancer. These effects were present immediately post treatment and at later follow-ups (an average of 7 months after treatment).

 

Comparison of these mindfulness meditation practices to active control conditions such as attentional controls to evidence-based treatments, resulted in reduced effect sizes and many were non-significant. Mindfulness meditation practices had significantly superior effects than active controls for adults, children, employees, and health care professionals/trainees but not for students. They were superior for psychiatric disorders, substance use, smoking, and depression but not for physical health conditions, pain, weight/eating-related conditions, cancer, or anxiety. They were superior for stress, and psychiatric symptoms but not for sleep, physical health symptoms, objective measures, or physiological measures.

 

These findings are essentially summaries of summaries and are based upon a wide variety of different researchers, methodologies, cultures, and time frames. Yet, the results are fairly consistent. In comparison to doing nothing, passive controls, mindfulness meditation practices are very beneficial for a wide range of physical and psychological issues over a wide range of ages. But these practices when compared to other types of treatments, are less effective and at times not superior. Nevertheless, this meta-analysis of meta-analyses paints a clear picture of the wide-ranging efficacy of mindfulness meditation practices for the relief of physical and psychological issues. These results verify the unprecedented depth and breadth of benefits of mindfulness meditation practices.

 

So, improve physical and mental well-being with mindfulness meditation-based interventions.

 

Practicing mindfulness exercises can have many possible benefits, including: reduced stress, anxiety and depression, less negative thinking and distraction, and improved mood,” -Mayo Clinic

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Goldberg, S. B., Riordan, K., Sun, S., & Davidson, R. J. (2021). The empirical status of mindfulness-based interventions: A systematic review of 44 meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Perspectives on Psychological Science 1–23, DOI: 10.1177/1745691620968771

 

Abstract

In response to questions regarding the scientific basis for mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), we evaluated their empirical status by systematically reviewing meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We searched six databases for effect sizes based on ≥4 trials that did not combine passive and active controls. Heterogeneity, moderators, tests of publication bias, risk of bias, and adverse effects were also extracted. Representative effect sizes based on the largest number of studies were identified across a wide range of populations, problems, interventions, comparisons, and outcomes (PICOS). A total of 160 effect sizes were reported in 44 meta-analyses (k=336 RCTs, N=30,483 participants). MBIs showed superiority to passive controls across most PICOS (ds=0.10-0.89). Effects were typically smaller and less often statistically significant when compared to active controls. MBIs were similar or superior to specific active controls and evidence-based treatments. Heterogeneity was typically moderate. Few consistent moderators were found. Results were generally robust to publication bias, although other important sources of bias were identified. Reporting of adverse effects was inconsistent. Statistical power may be lacking in meta-analyses, particularly for comparisons with active controls. As MBIs show promise across some PICOS, future RCTs and meta-analyses should build upon identified strengths and limitations of this literature.

https://centerhealthyminds.org/assets/files-publications/Goldberg-the-empirical-status.pdf

 

More Attentive Mother-Child Interactions are Associated with Mindfulness

More Attentive Mother-Child Interactions are Associated with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindful parenting means that you bring your conscious attention to what’s happening, instead of getting hijacked by your emotions. Mindfulness is about letting go of guilt and shame about the past and focusing on right now. It’s about accepting whatever is going on, rather than trying to change it or ignore it.” –  Jill Ceder

 

Raising children, parenting, is very rewarding. But it can also be challenging. Children test parents frequently. They test the boundaries of their freedom and the depth of parental love. They demand attention and seem to especially when parental attention is needed elsewhere. They don’t always conform to parental dictates or aspirations for their behavior. The challenges of parenting require that the parents be able to deal with stress, to regulate their own emotions, and to be sensitive and attentive their child. These skills are exactly those that are developed in mindfulness training. It improves the psychological and physiological responses to stress. It improves emotion regulation. It improves the ability to maintain attention and focus in the face of high levels of distraction.

 

Mindful parenting involves the parents having emotional awareness of themselves and compassion for the child and having the skills to pay full attention to the child in the present moment, to accept parenting non-judgmentally and be emotionally non-reactive to the child. Mindful parenting has been shown to have positive benefits for both the parents and the children. Hence, it is important to study the effects of the mother’s mindfulness on their interactions with their infants.

 

In today’s Research News article “Does Mothers’ Self-Reported Mindful Parenting Relate to the Observed Quality of Parenting Behavior and Mother-Child Interaction?” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7652703/ )  Potharst and colleagues recruited mothers with infants (0 to 24 months of age) and toddlers (24 to 48 months of age). The mothers completed measures of mindful parenting and were observed with their infants and toddlers for maternal sensitivity and acceptance. The mother’s speech while interacting with the child was categorized and mind related comments assessed and the mothers gaze during the interaction recorded.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindful parenting the higher the levels of compassion for the child. They also found that the higher the levels of mindful listening with full attention the higher the levels of non-attuned mind related comments. Finally, they found that the higher the levels of mindful parenting, the higher the levels of mother’s gave upon the child’s face during interacting with the child.

 

These results are interesting but correlational, so caution must be exercised in concluding causation. The results do suggest that the mother’s levels of mindful parenting are related to their levels of compassion for the child and how the mothers interact with the child. In particular mindful parenting appears to be related to the amount of attention the mother provides the child. These better interactions between mother and child might predict better psychological well-being of the children are they grow. It will be interesting in the future to investigate whether training in mindful parenting will produce improvements in mother’s interactions with their children.

 

So, more attentive mother-child interactions are associated with mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness is also a potent tool for parents, especially when they’re feeling challenged by a child’s attitudes or behavior, and it’s easier to achieve than most people realize.” – Donna Matthews

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Potharst, E. S., Leyland, A., Colonnesi, C., Veringa, I. K., Salvadori, E. A., Jakschik, M., Bögels, S. M., & Zeegers, M. (2020). Does Mothers’ Self-Reported Mindful Parenting Relate to the Observed Quality of Parenting Behavior and Mother-Child Interaction?. Mindfulness, 1–13. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01533-0

 

Abstract

Objectives

Growing academic interest in mindful parenting (MP) requires a reliable and valid measure for use in research and clinical setting. Because MP concerns the way parents relate to, and nurture, their children, it is important to evaluate the associations between self-reported MP and observed parenting and parent-child interaction measures.

Methods

Seventy-three mothers who experience difficulties with their young children aged 0–48 months admitted for a Mindful with your baby/toddler training (63% in a mental health care and 27% in a preventative context) were included. Mothers completed the Interpersonal Mindfulness in Parenting scale (IM-P) and video-observations of parent-child interactions were coded for maternal sensitivity, acceptance, mind-mindedness, and emotional communication (EC).

Results

The IM-P total score was positively associated only with mothers’ gaze to the child (EC). IM-P subscale Listening with Full Attention negatively predicted non-attuned mind-mindedness, Compassion with the Child positively predicted maternal sensitivity and positive facial expression (EC), and Emotional Awareness of Self positively predicted mothers’ gaze to the child (EC) and dyadic synchrony of positive affect (EC).

Conclusions

The current study provides support for the hypothesis that the IM-P total score is predictive of maternal actual attention for the child during a face-to-face interaction. When the IM-P is administered with the aim to gain understanding of different aspects of parenting behavior and the parent-child interaction, it is important not only to employ the IM-P total score but also to incorporate the individual IM-P subscales, as meaningful associations between IM-P subscales and observed parenting and parent-child interactions were found.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7652703/

 

Improve Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, their Caregivers, and the Agency with Mindfulness

Improve Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, their Caregivers, and the Agency with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness practices could be helpful for these caregivers because they encourage a nonjudgmental interpretation of their child’s situation, and increased acceptance of their reality.” – Emily Nauman

 

There is a tremendous demand for caregiving in the US. It is estimated that over 65 million (29% of the adult population) provides care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged, averaging 20 hours per week spent caring for their loved ones. This caregiving comes at a cost exacting a tremendous toll on caregivers’ health and well-being. Caregiving has been associated with increased levels of depression and anxiety as well as higher use of psychoactive medications, poorer self-reported physical health, compromised immune function, and increased mortality.

 

Caring for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be particularly difficult. Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 15%, of children aged 3 through 17 years have a one or more developmental disabilities.

 

The challenges of caring for a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities require that the caregiver be able to deal with stress, to regulate their own emotions, and to be sensitive and attentive to the child. These skills are exactly those that are developed in mindfulness training. It improves the psychological and physiological responses to stress. It improves emotion regulation, it improves the ability to maintain attention and focus in the face of high levels of distraction, and can reduce burnout.

 

In today’s Research News article “Comparative Effectiveness of Caregiver Training in Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) in a Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7223775/) Singh and colleagues recruited caregivers from a home for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They were randomly assigned to receive either Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) of Positive Behavior Support (PBS).  The interventions were for 10 weeks and consisted of “an 8-h day on the first day of week 1 of training, followed by daily practice for 4 weeks. . .  a second part included five 8-h days (i.e., 40 h) during week 5, followed by daily practice for 4 weeks. . . and third part was again an 8-h day on the first day of week 10, followed by daily practice for the rest of the week.” During the next 30 weeks data were collected. The caregivers were measured before and after training for compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, perceived stress, professional quality of life, and meditation practice. The children’s behavior was rated for aggressive events, staff injury, and peer injury. The agency was evaluated for the use of physical restraints, emergency medication, staffing, and cost effectiveness.

 

They found that both interventions produced significantly increased compassion satisfaction, and decreased perceived and traumatic stress, and burnout for the caregivers. The Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) group, however, had significantly greater improvements than the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) group. Similar results were found for the children’s behavior with both treatments producing significant decreases with aggression, staff injuries, and peer injuries. Once again, the mindfulness group had significantly superior results. For the agency outcomes Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) produced significantly reduced use of physical restraints, emergency medication, and one-on-one staffing. In addition, the mindfulness treatment had significantly greater cost effectiveness.

 

These are very encouraging results that demonstrate that Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) is highly effective in improving the situation for staff, children, and the agency in an institution for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It increased

caregivers’ well-being and the children’s behavior, and decreased the strains on the agency. Amazingly, the mindfulness-based treatment was even more cost-effective.

 

So, improve children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their caregivers, and the agency with mindfulness.

 

“the greater effects associated with mindfulness techniques may be due to “the immediacy of physiologic relaxation responses incurred in mindfulness practice, including strengthened attention to bodily sensations, and less reliance on rumination or other automatic emotions.” – Summer Allen

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Medvedev, O. N., Myers, R. E., Chan, J., McPherson, C. L., Jackman, M. M., & Kim, E. (2020). Comparative Effectiveness of Caregiver Training in Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) in a Randomized Controlled Trial. Mindfulness, 11(1), 99–111. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0895-2

 

Abstract

Caregivers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are often stressed due to the demands of the job, including the nature and severity of challenging behaviors of the clients, work conditions, degree of management support for the staff, and the demands of implementing some interventions under adverse conditions. Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) and PBS alone have been shown to be effective in assisting caregivers to better manage the challenging behaviors of clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The aim of the present study was to undertake a head-to-head assessment of the effectiveness of MBPBS and PBS alone in a 40-week randomized controlled trial. Of the 123 caregivers who met inclusion criteria, 60 were randomly assigned to MBPBS and 63 to PBS alone, with 59 completing the trial in the MBPBS condition and 57 in the PBS alone condition. Results showed both interventions to be effective, but the caregiver, client, and agency outcomes for MBPBS were uniformly superior to those of PBS alone condition. In addition, the MBPBS training was substantially more cost-effective than the PBS alone training. The present results add to the evidence base for the effectiveness of MBPBS and, if independently replicated, could provide an integrative health care approach in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7223775/

 

Improve Well-Being and Emotion Regulation Strategies in Primary School Children with Mindfulness

Improve Well-Being and Emotion Regulation Strategies in Primary School Children with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.” -Eckhart Tolle-

 

Childhood is a miraculous period during which the child is dynamically absorbing information from every aspect of its environment. It is here that behaviors, knowledge, skills, and attitudes are developed that shape the individual. But what is absorbed depends on the environment. If it is replete with speech, the child will learn speech, if it is replete with trauma, the child will learn fear, if it is replete with academic skills the child will learn these, and if it is replete with interactions with others, the child will learn social skills. If it is replete with mindfulness, the child will learn to value the present moment.

 

Elementary school environments have a huge effect on development. They are also excellent times to teach children the skills to adaptively negotiate its environment. Mindfulness training in school, at all levels has been shown to have very positive effects. These include academic, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. Importantly, mindfulness training in school appears to improve the student’s self-concept. It also improves attentional ability and reduces stress, which are keys to successful learning in school. Since, what occurs in the early years of school can have such a profound, long-term effect on the child it is important to further study the impact of mindfulness training on the development of emotion regulation and thinking skills in elementary school children.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness in primary school children as a route to enhanced life satisfaction, positive outlook and effective emotion regulation.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7341670/) Amundsen and colleagues recruited 5th grade students aged 9 to 10 years and assigned different classrooms to either a wait-list control condition or to receive 6 weekly 1 hour sessions of either living mindfully training or well-being training. The children were measured before and after treatment and 3 months later for mindfulness, positive and negative emotions, positive outlook, positive emotional states, student life satisfaction, and emotion regulation.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list and well-being training groups the children who received living mindfully training had significant increases in mindfulness, positive outlook, and student life satisfaction at the end of training and 3 months later. They also report that the greater the changes in mindfulness produced by the program the larger the increases in positive emotional states, positive outlook, satisfaction with life, and reappraisal emotion regulation and the larger the decreases in negative emotions

 

A strength of the study was the use of an active control condition, well-being training. This helps eliminate a number of potential confounding effects of participant expectations, attention effects etc. This then strengthens the case that living mindfully training has positive effects on the psychological well-being of 5th grade children and may improve their ability to reappraise and thereby better regulate their emotions. It was not examined whether these benefits resulted in better academic performance.

 

So, improve well-being and emotion regulation strategies in primary school children with mindfulness.

 

For children, mindfulness can offer relief from whatever difficulties they might be encountering in life. It also gives them the beauty of being in the present moment.” – Annaka Harris

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Amundsen, R., Riby, L. M., Hamilton, C., Hope, M., & McGann, D. (2020). Mindfulness in primary school children as a route to enhanced life satisfaction, positive outlook and effective emotion regulation. BMC psychology, 8(1), 71. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-020-00428-y

 

Abstract

Background

Mindfulness programmes as a potential avenue of enhancing pupil wellbeing are beginning to show great promise. However, research concerning the effectiveness of mindfulness training for primary aged school children (7–11 years of age) has been neglected.

Methods

Building on methodological limitations of prior research, this study employed an active controlled design to assess the longer term wellbeing and emotion regulation outcomes after a 6 week mindfulness programme (Living Mindfully Programme, UK), for a group of school children aged between 9 and 10. The programme was delivered by class teachers as part of their normal curriculum entitlement. One hundred and eight children took part from across three schools in North East of England. Participants formed a treatment group (n = 64), active control (n = 19) and wait list control (n = 25). Self-report measures of wellbeing, mindfulness and emotion regulation were collected at pre and post training as well as at 3 months follow up.

Results

Reliable findings, judged by medium to large effect sizes across both post intervention, follow-up and between both controls, demonstrated enhancement in a number of domains. Immediately after training and follow up, when compared with the wait list control, children who received mindfulness training showed significant improvements in mindfulness (d = .76 and .77), Positive Outlook (d = .55 and .64) and Life Satisfaction (d = .65 and 0.72). Even when compared to an active control, the effects remained although diminished reflecting the positive impact of the active control condition. Furthermore, a significant positive relationship was found between changes in mindfulness and changes in cognitive reappraisal.

Conclusions

Taken together, this study provides preliminary evidence that the Living Mindfully Primary Programme is feasibly delivered by school staff, enjoyed by the children and may significantly improve particular components of wellbeing. Importantly, higher levels of mindfulness as a result of training may be related to effective emotional regulatory and cognitive reappraisal strategies.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7341670/

 

Improve Primary School Students’ Attention and Behavior with Mindfulness

Improve Primary School Students’ Attention and Behavior with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

For kids who have suffered from prolonged stress or trauma, mindfulness seems to offer a way of “short-circuiting” the fight-or-flight response. It helps kids with the greatest self-regulation challenges adapt to slower, more methodical classroom settings.” – Amanda Moreno

 

Childhood is a miraculous period during which the child is dynamically absorbing information from every aspect of its environment. It is here that behaviors, knowledge, skills, and attitudes are developed that shape the individual. But what is absorbed depends on the environment. If it is replete with speech, the child will learn speech, if it is replete with trauma, the child will learn fear, if it is replete with academic skills the child will learn these, and if it is replete with interactions with others, the child will learn social skills.

 

Elementary school environments have a huge effect on development. They are also excellent times to teach children the skills to adaptively negotiate its environment. Mindfulness training in school, at all levels has been shown to have very positive effects. These include academic, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. Importantly, mindfulness training in school appears to improve the student’s self-concept. It also improves attentional ability and reduces stress, which are keys to successful learning in school. Since, what occurs in the early years of school can have such a profound, long-term effect on the child it is important to further study the impact of mindfulness training on the development of thinking skills in elementary school children.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effect of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Attention, Self-Control, and Aggressiveness in Primary School Pupils.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7178275/), Suárez-García and colleagues recruited two 3rd grade primary school classes with children between the ages of 7 to 10 years. One class received 8 weekly mindfulness training sessions with 10 minutes of daily practice. At the end of the 8 weeks of training for the first class, the second class received the mindfulness training. They were measured before and after each intervention for intellectual ability and attentional ability. In addition, the teachers were asked to evaluate the children for attentional problems, self-control deficits, and aggressiveness.

 

They found that in comparison to the control classroom and the baseline the mindfulness trained children had significant reductions in attentional problems and self-control deficits. The second class after their mindfulness training also showed significant reductions in attentional problems and self-control deficits. No significant changes in aggressiveness were observed.

 

The results are similar to findings with adults that mindfulness training improves attention and self-control and that mindfulness training can be successfully implemented in schools producing improvements in attentional ability. The findings that mindfulness training in 3rd grade classrooms can also improve attention and self-control is important as these abilities are essential to the education of the students. The improvements would also contribute to better management of the classroom. Changes in academic progress were not measured. But the results suggest that the children would perform better in school after mindfulness training.

 

So, improve primary school students’ attention and behavior with mindfulness.

 

for students specifically, mindfulness has been shown to improve cognitive performance, so students can focus and concentrate better.” – Anya Kamenetz

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts arealso available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Suárez-García, Z., Álvarez-García, D., García-Redondo, P., & Rodríguez, C. (2020). The Effect of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Attention, Self-Control, and Aggressiveness in Primary School Pupils. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(7), 2447. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072447

 

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the effect of Mindkeys Training, a mindfulness-based educational intervention, on attention, self-control, and aggressiveness in third-year primary school pupils. In order to achieve this aim, a switching replications design was used. Two groups of third year primary students (nGE1 = 40; nGE2 = 33), aged between 7 and 10 years old (M = 8.08; DT = 0.49), had the intervention at different time points, such that while one served as the experimental group, the other served as the control group. Longitudinal differences were examined in both groups, and cross-sectional differences were examined between the two groups at three time points; at the start of the study, and following the intervention with each group. To that end, measurements of problems of attention, deficits of self-control, and aggressiveness for students were obtained via a teacher rating scale. The intervention program demonstrated a positive effect on the reduction of pupils’ attention problems, deficits of self-control, and aggressiveness. The effects were greater on the cognitive variables that the intervention worked on directly (attention and self-control). Attention was the variable on which the intervention exhibited the longest term effects.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7178275/

 

Improve Anxiety and Depression in Children and Adolescents with Yoga Practice

Improve Anxiety and Depression in Children and Adolescents with Yoga Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Yoga appears to be a promising complementary therapy and stress-management tool for children and adolescents, with very low reports of adverse effects. Yoga, as a therapeutic intervention, has positive effects on psychological functioning, especially in children coping with emotional, mental, and behavioral health problems.” – Pediatrics

 

Childhood and adolescence can be difficult times, fraught with challenges. During this time the child transitions to young adulthood; including the development of intellectual, psychological, physical, and social abilities and characteristics. There are so many changes occurring during this time that the child or adolescent can feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with all that is required.

 

Mindfulness training for children and adolescents has been shown to have very positive effects. These include academic, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. Mindfulness training has been shown to improve emotion regulation and to benefit the psychological and emotional health of adolescents. Importantly, mindfulness training with children and adolescents appears to improve the self-conceptimproves attentional ability and reduces stress. Yoga is a mindfulness practice that includes physical exercise. This may be better suited to children and adolescents than quiet meditation practices. The research findings on the psychological benefits of yoga practice for children and adolescents is accumulating. So, it makes sense to step back and review what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga as an Intervention for the Reduction of Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7082809/), James-Palmer and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the effects of yoga practice on anxiety and depression in children and adolescents (< 18 years of age). They identified 27 published research studies.

 

They report that the studies generally showed reductions in symptoms of anxiety and marginal reductions in symptoms of depression. The studies did not produce clear-cut positive results. On the other hand, in adults, yoga practice produces clear and significant improvements in depression and anxiety. One difference may be the durations of yoga practice. In the reviewed studies the majority of studies that failed to find significant improvements employed less than 6 weeks of yoga practice. Studies in adults frequently include 6 months or so of practice.

 

Regardless, the results of the published research are promising and suggest that yoga practice is a safe and effective treatment to relieve anxiety and depression in children and adolescents. The findings justify conducting larger well controlled studies in the future that employ longer durations of yoga practice.

 

So, improve anxiety and depression in children and adolescents with yoga practice.

 

Being healthy is important for all children and can be especially important for children with depression or anxiety. In addition to getting the right treatment, leading a healthy lifestyle can play a role in managing symptoms of depression or anxiety.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

James-Palmer, A., Anderson, E. Z., Zucker, L., Kofman, Y., & Daneault, J. F. (2020). Yoga as an Intervention for the Reduction of Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in pediatrics, 8, 78. https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2020.00078

 

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this review is to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of yoga for the reduction of symptoms of anxiety and depression in youth. To our knowledge, there are no systematic reviews to date looking at the reduction of symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

Methods: Numerous scientific databases were searched up to November 2018 for experimental studies assessing changes in symptoms of anxiety and/or depression in youths following yoga interventions. Quality and level of evidence were assessed, and information was synthesized across studies.

Results: Twenty-seven studies involving youth with varying health statuses were reviewed. Intervention characteristics varied greatly across studies revealing multiple factors that may impact intervention efficacy, however 70% of the studies overall showed improvements. For studies assessing anxiety and depression, 58% showed reductions in both symptoms, while 25% showed reductions in anxiety only. Additionally, 70% of studies assessing anxiety alone showed improvements and 40% of studies only assessing depression showed improvements.

Conclusion: The studies reviewed, while of weak to moderate methodological quality, showed that yoga, defined by the practice of postures, generally leads to some reductions in anxiety and depression in youth regardless of health status and intervention characteristics.

Keywords: child, adolescent, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, mental health, complementary therapies, exercise, yoga

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7082809/

 

Improve Body Size, Endocrine Function, and Anxiety in Anxious Obese Children with Mindfulness

Improve Body Size, Endocrine Function, and Anxiety in Anxious Obese Children with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness is a promising tool to be used as an adjunctive therapy for childhood obesity, either because of its potential to decrease stress or because it could counter act the stressful condition imposed by a restrictive dietary regimen,” – Mardia López-Alarcón

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Sadly, children and adolescents have not been spared with 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) classified as obese.

 

Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity in children alone or in combination with other therapies. It would seem reasonable to attack the problem early in life with the children and adolescents. Hence, the benefits of mindfulness practice for obese children should be investigated.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness affects stress, ghrelin, and BMI of obese children: a clinical trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7040861/), López-Alarcón and colleagues recruited obese children and adolescents aged 10-17 years who scored high in anxiety levels and provided them with an 8-week, once a week for a half hour conventional nutritional intervention including recommendations for a 700 Kcal reduction in intake. They were then randomly assigned to receive either no further treatment or to receive an 8-week, once a week for 2 hours Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction-Eat Mindful program based upon the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program consisting on training in meditation, body scan, breathing exercises, mindful eating, and discussions of using mindfulness in everyday life. They were measured before and after the program and 8 weeks later for body size, perceived stress, and anxiety. Blood was drawn and assayed for insulin, cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin and a salivary sample was assayed for cortisol levels.

 

They found that in comparison to the baseline and the nutritional intervention only, the children and adolescents who received mindfulness training had significant reduction in anxiety levels of all forms, including phobias, generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and separation anxiety. Also, there were significant reductions in body fat, cortisol, and ghrelin levels. In addition, at the 8- and 16-week follow-ups there were significant reductions in body size.

 

These are exciting results. Childhood obesity is major problem and the results of this study suggests that a mindfulness training program combined with a conventional nutritional intervention is safe and effective in improving the physical and psychological effects of obesity and in reducing body size. Mindfulness interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety in adults. But these programs have been found to have only small or mixed effectiveness in the treatment of adult obesity. But the present results suggest that mindfulness interventions may be particularly effective when applied to obese children and adolescents. A long-term follow up of these children is needed to determine the long-term effectiveness of mindfulness training.

 

So, improve body size, endocrine function, and anxiety in anxious obese children with mindfulness.

 

We think mindfulness could recalibrate the imbalance in the brain connections associated with childhood obesity,” – Ronald Cowan

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

López-Alarcón, M., Zurita-Cruz, J. N., Torres-Rodríguez, A., Bedia-Mejía, K., Pérez-Güemez, M., Jaramillo-Villanueva, L., Rendón-Macías, M. E., Fernández, J. R., & Martínez-Maroñas, P. (2020). Mindfulness affects stress, ghrelin, and BMI of obese children: a clinical trial. Endocrine connections, 9(2), 163–172. https://doi.org/10.1530/EC-19-0461

 

Abstract

Childhood obesity is associated with stress. However, most treatment strategies include only dietary and physical activity approaches. Mindfulness may assist in weight reduction, but its effectiveness is unclear. We assessed the effect of mindfulness on stress, appetite regulators, and weight of children with obesity and anxiety. A clinical study was conducted in a pediatric hospital. Eligible children were 10–14 years old, BMI ≥95th percentile, Spence anxiety score ≥55, and who were not taking any medication or supplementation. Participants were assigned to receive an 8-week conventional nutritional intervention (CNI) or an 8-week mindfulness-based intervention plus CNI (MND-CNI). Anthropometry, body composition, leptin, insulin, ghrelin, cortisol, and Spence scores were measured at baseline and at the end of the intervention. Anthropometry was analyzed again 8 weeks after concluding interventions. Log-transformed and delta values were calculated for analysis. Thirty-three MND-CNI and 12 CNI children finished interventions; 17 MND-CNI children accomplished 16 weeks. At the end of the intervention, significant reductions in anxiety score (−6.21 ± 1.10), BMI (−0.45 ± 1.2 kg/m2), body fat (−1.28 ± 0.25%), ghrelin (−0.71 ± 0.37 pg/mL), and serum cortisol (−1.42 ± 0.94 µg/dL) were observed in MND-CNI children. Changes in anxiety score, ghrelin, and cortisol were different between groups (P < 0.05). Children who completed 16 weeks decreased BMI after intervention (−0.944 ± 0.20 kg/m2, P < 0.001) and remained lower 8 weeks later (−0.706 ± 0.19 kg/m2, P = 0.001). We concluded that mindfulness is a promising tool as an adjunctive therapy for childhood obesity. However, our findings need confirmation in a larger sample population.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7040861/

 

Less Negative Emotions Occur in Mindful Children and Adolescents

Less Negative Emotions Occur in Mindful Children and Adolescents

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

We ultimately want to give children (and teens, and adults!) the ability to notice however they feel in the moment, and the tools to manage and respond appropriately to their inner and outer experience.” – Oren Jay Sofer

 

Childhood and adolescence are times of mental, physical, social, and emotional growth. But they can be difficult times, fraught with challenges. During these times the individual transitions from childhood to young adulthood; including the development of intellectual, psychological, physical, and social abilities and characteristics. There are so many changes occurring during these times that the child can feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with all that is required. This can heighten negative emotions and anxiety. Indeed, up to a quarter of adolescents suffer from depression or anxiety disorders, and an even larger proportion struggle with subclinical symptoms.

 

Mindfulness training in adults has been shown to reduce anxietydepression, and perceived stress levels and improve emotional regulation. In addition, in adolescents it has been shown to improve emotion regulation and to benefit the psychological and emotional health. On the other hand, getting lost in thought (mind wandering) has been shown to be associated with negative emotions. Hence, there is a need to explore the relationship between mindfulness, getting lost in thought, and emotions in children and adolescents.

 

In today’s Research News article “Cognitive Fusion Mediates the Relationship between Dispositional Mindfulness and Negative Affects: A Study in a Sample of Spanish Children and Adolescent School Students.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6926870/), García-Gómez and colleagues recruited children and adolescents between the ages of 8 to 16 years. They were measured for cognitive fusion, experiential avoidance, mindfulness, positive and negative emotions, and anxiety.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the lower the levels of cognitive fusion, experiential avoidance, negative emotions, and anxiety. A mediation analysis revealed that mindfulness had both direct and indirect associations such that mindfulness was negatively associated directly with both negative emotions and anxiety and also indirectly by way of its negative association with cognitive fusion which was in turn negatively associated with negative emotions and anxiety. Higher levels of mindfulness were associated with lower levels of cognitive fusion which, in turn, were associated with lower levels of negative emotions and anxiety.

 

These results are correlational and thus causation cannot be determined. Also, this study employed only children and adolescents, So, it is not established if similar findings would occur in adults. But there are a large number of studies that demonstrate a causal effect of mindfulness on negative emotions and anxiety with adults. Indeed, in the present study, age did not moderate the results. Hence the present results probably are due to the effects of mindfulness on cognitive fusion and on these negative emotions and occur regardless of age.

 

“Cognitive fusion is a process by which the individual becomes entangled with memories, thoughts, judgments, and evaluations and adjust behavior to the internal experiences.” Hence cognitive fusion is the antithesis of mindfulness. One cannot be mindful and at the same time be lost in thoughts. This suggests that being lost in thought (cognitive fusion) tends to produce negative emotions, while being mindful tends to reduce these negative emotions. This suggests that mindfulness by focusing the individual on the present moment improves the individual’s emotional state and also tends to prevent getting lost in thought which also improves the individual’s emotional state.

 

So, reduce getting lost in thought and negative emotions with mindfulness.

 

When I look at childhood anxiety I see an enormous problem and a precursor to other problems in adolescents and adults,” – Randye Semple

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

García-Gómez, M., Guerra, J., López-Ramos, V. M., & Mestre, J. M. (2019). Cognitive Fusion Mediates the Relationship between Dispositional Mindfulness and Negative Affects: A Study in a Sample of Spanish Children and Adolescent School Students. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(23), 4687. doi:10.3390/ijerph16234687

 

Abstract

Nowadays, mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) have experienced a remarkable development of studies among childhood and adolescent interventions. For this reason, dispositional mindfulness (DM) measures for children and adolescents have been developed to determine the effectiveness of MBI at this age stage. However, little is known about how key elements of DM (for example, cognitive de/fusion or experiential avoidance that both confirm psychological inflexibility) are involved in the mechanisms of the children and adolescents’ mental health outcomes. This research examined the mediating effect of cognitive fusion between DM and anxiety and other negative emotional states in a sample of 318 Spanish primary-school students (aged between 8 and 16 years, M = 11.24, SD = 2.19, 50.8% males). Participants completed the AFQ-Y (Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for youth), which is a measure of psychological inflexibility that encompasses cognitive defusion and experiential avoidance; CAMM (DM for children and adolescents), PANAS-N (positive and negative affect measure for children, Spanish version of PANASC), and STAIC (an anxiety measure for children). The study accomplished ethical standards. As MBI relevant literature has suggested, cognitive defusion was a significant mediator between DM and symptoms of both negative emotions and anxiety in children and adolescents. However, experiential avoidance did not show any significant mediating relationship. Probably, an improvement of the assessment of experiential avoidance is needed. MBI programs for children and adolescents may include more activities for reducing effects of the cognitive defusion on their emotional distress.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6926870/