Mindfulness-based curriculum for preschoolers

Flook, L., et al. (2014). Promoting Prosocial Behavior and Self-Regulatory Skills in Preschool Children Through a Mindfulness-Based Kindness Curriculum. Developmental Psychology, Nov 10. 

From the Abstract. Self-regulatory abilities are robust predictors of important outcomes across the life span, yet they are rarely taught explicitly in school. Using a randomized controlled design, the present study investigated the effects of a 12-week mindfulness-based Kindness Curriculum (KC) delivered in a public school setting on executive function, self-regulation, and prosocial behavior in a sample of 68 preschool children.

The KC intervention group showed greater improvements in social competence and earned higher report card grades in domains of learning, health, and social-emotional development, whereas the control group exhibited more selfish behavior over time.

These findings, observed over a relatively short intervention period, support the promise of this program for promoting self-regulation and prosocial behavior in young children. They also support the need for future investigation of program implementation across diverse settings.

Importance of mindfulness in medical setting

Hassed, C. (2014). Mindfulness: why attention matters. Pathology, 46, S3. Abstract.

The importance of training attention is not a new idea and it may be the single most important life-skill we ever develop [as medical practitioners]. Attention training is an important aspect of what is called mindfulness which is a form of meditation, a way of living, and a foundation for new approaches to psychotherapy such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).

Mindfulness-based approaches are receiving considerable interest from a number of disciplines on the back of an emerging evidence base. Particular areas of interest in the basic sciences include studies on neuroplasticity, genetics, and immunity. But it is the applications which are of particular importance in areas such as enhanced mental health, improved executive functioning, greater mental flexibility and memory, and improved physical health. In the medical setting it is also attracting interest because of its capacity to enhance clinical performance and reduce burnout.