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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access December 31, 2018

Effects of mindfulness training on regulatory and academic abilities in preadolescents: Results from a pilot study

Lena Wimmer EMAIL logo , Lisa von Stockhausen and Silja Bellingrath
From the journal Open Psychology


Regulatory abilities such as self-regulation and stress regulation are key predictors of essential developmental outcomes, including intellectual and socioemotional milestones as well as academic achievement. Preadolescence has been proposed as a period that is crucial for training these abilities. The present pilot study investigated the effects of mindfulness training on preadolescents‘ regulatory abilities and school-related outcomes. A group of 34 fifth graders received either mindfulness training (experimental group), Marburg Concentration Training (alternative treatment group), or no treatment (passive control group) and were monitored over a four-month intervention period. Regulatory abilities were assessed first, with two self-report questionnaires that operationalized impulsivity and coping with stress, respectively. Second, physical stress regulation was examined on the basis of diurnal cortisol as well as salivary α-amylase (sAA) profiles. Finally, school-related outcomes were measured with a paperpencil based performance test of verbal memory. Results show that impulsivity increased in all groups over time, whereas there were no significant training effects on self-reported coping with stress. Both training groups showed more adaptive physiological stress regulation in terms of steeper diurnal cortisol slopes and marginally less pronounced sAA awakening responses, however, with respect to physiological measures, no data of the passive control group are available. With respect to school-related outcomes, the results indicate a slight superiority regarding verbal memory for the mindfulness training group compared to the Marburg Concentration Training group.


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Received: 2018-02-20
Accepted: 2018-10-15
Published Online: 2018-12-31
Published in Print: 2018-12-01

© by Lena Wimmer, et al., published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

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