Mindfulness and Adolescents: How Are They Related? – Health & Wellness

What about mindfulness and teens? How they relate? In this article you will find information that you probably did not expect.

Mindfulness is a useful tool for focusing on the here and now, as it requires guided training in present-moment awareness with a gentle and accepting attitude. Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, mindfulness focuses us on what is happening at any given moment without judgment.

This way of being and being in the world has gradually been incorporated into the classroom, due to its ability to reduce stress, depression and anxiety, as well as to improve cognitive processing, emotion regulation and executive control. However, the scientific evidence on its effectiveness within school programs that adopt mindfulness in their curricula is still being debated.

Although some research has found that teaching mindfulness in educational institutions can have a positive impact on mental well-being and resilience in children and adolescents, a recent study of 8,376 students found that while mindfulness has certain benefits, it may not actually improve the mental well-being of adolescents.

Mindfulness and Teens: What Does the Research Say?

Results from a mindfulness training program in adolescents indicate that mindfulness is associated with improved psychological well-being and attention. They also indicate that this improvement is related to some personality variables, such as agreeableness and emotional stability.

Another study found that adolescents who participated in a mindfulness-focused school intervention reported fewer depressive symptoms after the intervention and at follow-up. They also reported less stress and greater well-being. Furthermore, the findings showed that the degree to which students practiced mindfulness was associated with higher well-being and lower stress at 3-month follow-up.

Other research results also confirmed that adolescent mindfulness acts as a protective agent against depression, anxiety, and stress. These findings, say the researchers, provide insight into the possible underlying mechanism between adolescent mindfulness and psychological distress.

For its part, in another investigation, in which the effectiveness of a program based on mindfulness was evaluated, lower levels of stress and psychosomatic complaints and better affective regulation were found. Program participants also had improvements in emotional regulation skills, including emotional awareness, access to regulation strategies, and emotional clarity.

There are many studies that indicate that mindfulness and adolescents have a positive relationship. However, a new study opens the door to see this relationship from a less encouraging perspective for the development and health of this population group. Let’s see what it tells us.

Mindfulness training at school

For this study, researchers measured depression risk, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning and well-being before, at baseline, after the intervention, and during one year of follow-up.

The results showed worse scores in depression and well-being in those students who were at risk of suffering from mental health problems, both after the intervention and during the follow-up year. However, the differences were not clinically relevant and small. The dose and extent of training were associated with poorer social, emotional, and behavioral functioning after the intervention.

It seems that while mindfulness taught in schools may draw attention to mental health issues, it may not provide the necessary support for students to deal with their problems.

Despite these new findings, it is important to keep in mind that the study looked at mindfulness being taught in a school setting and that, perhaps, with different training methods, mindfulness might have different effects on the mental health of children. teenagers.

Does mindfulness work?

One reason mindfulness and adolescents may not go well together is because this population group needs different approaches to their mental health care. Probably, the youngest do not have the ability to self-regulate their emotions and apply mindfulness skills in a correct and disciplined way.

It’s also important to note that mindfulness needs to be practiced on an ongoing basis, and some teens may have a hard time staying consistent. In addition, they may have high expectations for success. This type of ideal can have a negative impact on training, since it goes against what this type of practice focused on the present really proposes.

In closing, we still can’t rush to say that mindfulness and teens don’t have a good relationship or that mindfulness doesn’t work. What this study shows us is that mindfulness practiced in a classroom does not benefit the mental well-being of adolescents, as would be expected, and less so in those who are at high risk of suffering from mental health problems.

Source: The Mind is Wonderful

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