Evidence That It Works
While research on the effects of mindfulness on children and teens is still in the early stages, a 2014 meta-analysis of 24 studies of K-12 students demonstrated changes in students’ attention and resilience to stress, including positive emotions, self-esteem, and self-concept. Further, a 2019 targeted review of mindfulness interventions with young adolescents indicated multiple benefits to teens’ well-being. Apart from affecting student well-being, some research studies suggest that mindfulness practices can also foster curiosity and learning.
Why Does It Matter?
Many mindfulness practices involve turning inward to observe thoughts, breath patterns, and body sensations. However, mindful listening also prompts students to turn outward and engage with their world.
Teens may benefit from mindful listening because they are practicing paying attention—a skill that may ultimately improve their attention and executive functions (e.g., self-control, planning, decision-making, etc.) as well as their school functioning.