Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a school-based mindfulness intervention for urban youth

Tamar Mendelson, Mark T. Greenberg, Jacinda K. Dariotis, Laura Feagans Gould, Brittany L. Rhoades, Philip J. Leaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Youth in underserved, urban communities are at risk for a range of negative outcomes related to stress, including social-emotional difficulties, behavior problems, and poor academic performance. Mindfulness-based approaches may improve adjustment among chronically stressed and disadvantaged youth by enhancing self-regulatory capacities. This paper reports findings from a pilot randomized controlled trial assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a school-based mindfulness and yoga intervention. Four urban public schools were randomized to an intervention or wait-list control condition (n∈=∈97 fourth and fifth graders, 60.8% female). It was hypothesized that the 12-week intervention would reduce involuntary stress responses and improve mental health outcomes and social adjustment. Stress responses, depressive symptoms, and peer relations were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Findings suggest the intervention was attractive to students, teachers, and school administrators and that it had a positive impact on problematic responses to stress including rumination, intrusive thoughts, and emotional arousal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-994
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic stress
  • Mindfulness
  • Prevention
  • School-based intervention
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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