Research into mindfulness and the child brain

Mindfulness is found to have a major effect on the child’s brain. Particularly on the parts of the brain that are triggered by stress, emotions, aggression and executive functions. Studies of the brain have demonstrated that children who have done, or are doing mindfulness, deal differently with stressful situations and are better able to empathise with others. They make different choices in conflict situations: more conscious and from a place of calm. Less impulsively and in temper.

Mindfulness is good for all children’s developing brains. So why not support this wholeheartedly?

In the film below, Dr. Dan Siegel, professor and clinical psychiatrist at the UCLA, School of Medicine, explains the effect of meditation on the brain.

There is increasingly more evidence that mindfulness strengthens the quality of learning. Important for adults. But essential for children. The brain and its neurological system are still in development. Sensitivity to the negative effects of stress is heightened. It is extremely important to retain, stimulate and further develop a child’s natural goodness, openness and natural ability to be present! They are the future.

– Jon Kabat-Zinn, from the foreword of ‘Sitting still like a Frog’ by Eline Snel

Research about ‘Mindfulness Matters’

In 2012, the first research was carried out into ‘Mindfulness Matters’ and the effect on children with ASD. The results were positive and encouraged continued use of this mindfulness method with this group of children. The article, by H.R. Nanninga, M.A. and B.B. Sizoo, LL.M., PhD, is about the effect of mindfulness in the ‘Mindfulness Matters’ method, on children with an autistic disorder. It was published in the ‘Wetenschappelijk Tijdschrift Autisme’ (Scientific Autism Magazine) in September 2012. Click on the button below to download the article (PDF). The article is in Dutch.

Research about ‘Mindfulness Matters’

Research is currently being carried out into the mindfulness method ‘Mindfulness Matters’ for children and adolescents. For this research, we are working with Professor Ron Scholten of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Trimbos Institute and abroad with Professor Herman Lo of the City University of Hong Kong.

We will keep you informed of the results once they are known, via our social media channels and the website.


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