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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mindfulness improves students' attention

A short training course in mindfulness improves children’s ability to ignore distractions and concentrate better, a study presented this month to the British Psychological Society says.

Study author Dominic Crehan said: “The ability to pay attention in class is crucial for success at school. Mindfulness appears to have an effect after only a short training course, which the children thoroughly enjoyed! Through their training, the children actually learn to watch their minds working and learn to control their attention. These findings could be particularly important for helping children with attention difficulties such as ADHD. Further research on the effects of mindfulness on children’s attention is very much needed.”

The researchers worked with 30 children (girls and boys aged 10 to 11 years old), who took part  in a mindfulness course as part of their school curriculum in two groups. They measured the children’s levels of mindfulness using a questionnaire and assessed their attention skills using a specially-designed computer game. They made these measurements on three occasions, at three-month intervals, so that they could measure changes in attention skills over time as a result of the mindfulness course.

The results indicated that an improvement in the children’s ability to focus and deal with distractions was associated with the mindfulness course.