Blogging for A Mindful Society

Mindfulness study to track effects on 7,000 teenagers (TheGuardian)

In a recent article by TheGuardian it was announced that psychologists and neuroscientists from Oxford University and University College London plan to recruit children aged 11 to 16 from 76 secondary schools as part of a seven-year study. This study, that aims to include a sample size of 7,000 teenagers is the largest to date and will have considerable impact on the adoption of mindfulness into UK schools.

Currently, The Guardian states that over 2,200 people in the UK have been trained as mindfulness teachers and they train over 200,000 people each year within the practice. The UK has been on the fore front of integrating mindfulness into their society with a many of their politicians having completed an 8-week mindfulness-based program.

The study is being funded by the Welcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health by supporting bright minds in science, the humanities and social sciences, and public engagement. Willem Kuyken, the studies lead and a professor of clinical psychology at Oxford University, shared within the article that

“spread of mindfulness among children could do for the British population’s mental health what fluoride in the water did for its teeth”

Kuyken also shared that the trial was focusing on children partly because of evidence that half of all mental health disorders begin before the age of 15. He wants to test whether mindfulness can increase resilience to “a core vulnerability” displayed by teens: difficulty sustaining attention in the face of thoughts and impulses that can become overwhelming.

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