Middle schools are finding that many students benefit from mindfulness training in school.

Mindfulness Training in SchoolA new study finds that when students take a stress reduction program based on mindfulness techniques at school, they have fewer symptoms of trauma and stress than their peers who took health classes on stress reduction.

“High-quality structured mindfulness programs have the potential to really improve students’ lives in ways that I think can be really meaningful over the life course,” said lead author Dr. Erica Sibinga of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

In many cities in the USA, children have an increased risk of trauma and stress due to community drug use, violence, and poverty over many generations. Limited educational and economic opportunities also put urban children at risk, writes Sibinga and her colleagues in the journal Pediatrics.

300 middle school students in Baltimore public schools participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to a 12 week mindfulness class or a health class. Most of the students were black and eligible for free or reduced price lunch.

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