Fung, J., Kim, J. J., Jin, J., Chen, G., Bear, L., & Lau, A. S.
This randomized wait-list control study examined the impact of the Learn to Breathe mindfulness training curriculum on mental health and emotional outcomes in a sample of 145 Asian and Latino ninth-grade students attending an an urban school district serving primarily low income families. Pre-post assessments included self-reports on standardized instruments measuring stress, youth behavior problems, and emotional regulation and coping strategies at three time points, pre-intervention, post intervention and 3 months follow-up. Findings showed significant immediate improvements due to this curriculum on internalizing problems, perceived stress and rumination as well as strategies related to cognitive reappraisal, emotional processing and expression. Furthermore, youth showed improvement on all measures with comparison across time, though smallest effect sizes occurred for attention problems. Meditational analyses that were conducted suggested that improvements in youth’s internalizing problems and stress occurred due to the reduction in expressive suppression and rumination. Mindfulness training appears to facilitate youth’s capacity to engage in healthier patterns of relating to one's’ emotions and experience, and hence, greater emotional regulation and well-being. This study is important in that it is one of the few empirical studies to identify specific factors through which mindfulness training affects emotional well-being in youth.