Optimizing a Mindful Intervention for Urban Minority Youth via Stress Physiology

Duration: 2018 - Present
Funding: National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Diana Fishbein

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The aim of this study is to elucidate the physiological stress mechanisms underlying effects of a mindfulness program designed to target youth at risk for externalizing, affective and traumatic stress disorders by virtue of significant environmental disadvantage. Adolescents for each phase will be recruited from schools serving high poverty neighborhoods in Baltimore City where adversity and experiences of trauma and maltreatment are common.

The intervention is currently being implemented in a few Baltimore City schools and other settings by the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. (HLF), a non-profit organization with a lengthy track record of providing mindfulness-based programming (breath work and meditation) to impoverished youth. Both empirical and anecdotal reports of significant change in emotion regulation have been reported with this intervention, yet similar to most mindfulness programs, mechanisms of effects have not yet been delineated, particularly in disadvantaged youth.

Project Team