Implementing mindfulness and yoga in urban schools: A community-academic partnership

Tamar Mendelson, Jacinda K. Dariotis, Laura Feagans Gould, Ali S.R. Smith, Atman A. Smith, Andres A. Gonzalez, Mark T. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - Mindfulness-based interventions - which train capacities for attention, awareness, compassion, and self-regulation of thoughts and emotions - may offer unique benefits for urban youth exposed to chronic stress and adversity. Urban schools are promising settings in which to integrate mindfulness-based interventions; however, they pose complex challenges for intervention implementation and evaluation. Design/methodology/approach - The paper reflects on the experiences of our community-academic partnership conducting two school-based randomised trials on a mindfulness and yoga programme. The programme was developed by the Holistic Life Foundation and was delivered to middle school students in public schools serving disadvantaged urban communities. Findings - This paper discusses barriers and facilitating factors related to effective intervention delivery and evaluation, presents recommendations for future work and reflects on the potential benefits of mindfulness-based practices for students, teachers and schools. Originality/value - The paper offers a detailed account of challenges and opportunities associated with implementing mindfulness-based practices in urban school settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbers5
Pages (from-to)276-291
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Children's Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Holistic Life Foundation
  • Implementation
  • Mindfulness
  • School-based intervention
  • Urban youth
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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