Session: Mindfulness and Meditation Interventions for Youth: Exploring the Evidence Base (Society for Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference - Ensure Healthy Development for all Youth)

236 Mindfulness and Meditation Interventions for Youth: Exploring the Evidence Base

Saturday, January 14, 2017: 2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Iberville (New Orleans Marriott)
Cluster: Adolescent and Youth Development
Betsy L. Wisner, PhD, LMSW, Our Lady of the Lake University and Pamela A. Malone, PhD, LCSW, Saint Edwards University
Mindfulness and meditation practices and programs for youth are used in concert with traditional interventions and approaches and as independent programs. These practices for youth may be implemented as health promotion, stress management, and prevention strategies, and may also be used as selective interventions for various physical, emotional, and psychological challenges facing youth (Author citation, 2015). A number of secularized mindfulness and meditation practices emerged from the field of mind-body medicine for the therapeutic purpose of alleviating symptoms of stress and illness and restoration of health (Komjathy, 2015). These practices and programs include the Benson-Henry Protocol to elicit the Relaxation Response (Benson & Proctor, 2010), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) (Kabat-Zinn, 2011), Transcendental Meditation® (Rosenthal, 2012), and the Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s model of community-based intervention that incorporates meditative practices (Gordon, 1997). There is often a paucity of research with adolescents, but the developing evidence base for mindfulness and meditation for adolescents reflects these important options for working with youth (Author citation, 2015). The literature is growing and there are now two meta-analyses in this area (Zenner, Herrnleben-Kurz, & Walach, 2013; Zoogman, Goldberg, Hoyt, and Miller, 2015). This roundtable session builds on the conference theme, “Ensure Healthy Development for all Youth,” by stimulating discussion about literature and research on mindfulness and meditation practices and programs for youth. These practices and programs are offered in diverse settings, including counseling, Behavioral Health, medical, educational, and community settings. The presenters will offer a detailed handout outlining the state of the literature and evidence base regarding mindfulness and meditation programs for adolescents. The session will then include a dialogue about mindfulness and meditation for adolescents, including historical, cultural and developmental factors. Finally, the presenters will guide the conversation to promote sharing knowledge and scholarship on this topic.


Author citation (2015).

Benson, H., & Proctor, W. (2010). Relaxation revolution: The science and genetics of mind body healing. New York:

Simon and Schuster.

Gordon, J. S. (1997). Manifesto for a new medicine: Your guide to healing partnerships and the wise use of alternative

therapies. Chicago: Da Capo Press.

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2011). Some reflections on the origins of MBSR, skillful means, and the trouble with maps. 

Contemporary Buddhism12(01), 281-306.

Komjathy, L. (2015). (Ed.) Contemplative literature: A comparative sourcebook on meditation and contemplative

prayer (pp. 457-502). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. 

Rosenthal, N. (2012). Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation. New York, NY:


Zenner, C., Herrnleben-Kurz, S., & Walach, H. (2013). Mindfulness-based interventions in schools-a systematic review

and meta-analysis. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 603-603.

Zoogman, S., Goldberg, S. B., Hoyt, W. T., & Miller, L. (2015). Mindfulness interventions with youth: A meta-analysis.

Mindfulness, 6(2), 290-302.

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