Posted in MBSR, mindfulness

Mindfulness training improves psychological functioning in Grade 7-8 boys

Sibinga, E., Perry-Parrish, C., Chung, S. E., Johnson, S. B., Smith, M., & Ellen, J. M. (2013). School-based mindfulness instruction for urban male youth: A small randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine. In press – available online Sept. 8. Abstract.

Excerpt: 7th and 8th graders at a small school for low-income urban boys were randomly assigned to 12-session programs of MBSR or health education (HT). Data were collected at baseline, post-program, and three-month follow-up on psychological functioning; sleep; and salivary cortisol, a physiologic measure of stress.

Forty-one of the 42 eligible boys participated, of whom 95% were African American, with a mean age of 12.5 years. Following the programs, MBSR boys had less anxiety, less rumination, and showed a trend for less negative coping than HT boys. Comparing baseline with post-program, cortisol levels increased during the academic terms for HT participants at a trend level but remained constant for MBSR participants.

In this study, MBSR participants showed less anxiety, improved coping, and a possible attenuation of cortisol response to academic stress, when compared with HT participants. These results suggest that MBSR improves psychological functioning among urban male youth.

Highlights:

  • We conducted a trial of school-based mindfulness meditation vs. an active control.
  • Mindfulness meditation reduced anxiety for middle-school urban boys.
  • Mindfulness meditation improved coping for middle-school urban boys.
  • Compared with a control, mindfulness meditation improved psychological functioning.
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