Peace of Mind recognizes mindfulness as the essential foundation for students’ acquisition and mastery of social and emotional skills and conflict resolution tools. Following are the findings and the related studies, links in red, which support the Peace of Mind philosophy and theory of change.

Benefits of combining Mindfulness and SEL

Two new studies from MIT suggest that mindfulness — the practice of focusing one’s awareness on the present moment — can enhance academic performance and mental health in middle schoolers.

Mindfulness enhances acquisition of social and emotional learning skills such as those taught in the Peace of Mind Curriculum.

How SEL and Mindfulness Can Work Together for Children.  Lantieri, L., & Zakrzewski, V.  Greater Good Science Center, April 7, 2015.  

Mindfulness Practice can enhance children’s social-emotional development.

Kimberly A. Schonert-ReichlEva OberleMolly Stewart LawlorDavid AbbottKimberly ThomsonTim F. Oberlander, and Adele Diamond. Enhancing Cognitive and Social–Emotional Development Through a Simple-to-Administer Mindfulness-Based School Program for Elementary School Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Developmental Psychology, 2015,

Semple, R.J., Lee, J., Rosa, D.,&  Miller, L.F. (2010)  A randomized trial of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children: promoting mindful attention to enhance social-emotional development in children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19(2) 218-229

Mindfulness can be understood as the foundation and basic pre-condition for education.  Children need to learn to stop their mind wandering and regulate attention and emotions, deal with feelings of frustration, and to self-motivate.  Mindfulness practice enhances the very quality and goals of education in the 21st century.”

Zenner, C., Herrnleben-Kurz, S., & Walach, H. (2014). Mindfulness-based interventions in schools: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology,5. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00603

Creating deliberate moments of quiet and focus in a school day as part of a mindfulness based SEL program is likely to decrease anger, violence,anxiety

Weare, K. (2013). Developing mindfulness with children and young people: a review of the evidence and policy context. Journal of Children’s Services,8(2), 141-153. doi:10.1108/jcs-12-2012-0014

Mindfulness training can help to enhance children’s attention and focus.

Zenner, C., Herrnleben-Kurz, S., & Walach, H. (2014). Mindfulness-based interventions in schools: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology,5. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00603

Zoogman, S., Goldberg, S. B., Hoyt, W. T., & Miller, L. (2014). Mindfulness Interventions with Youth: A Meta-Analysis. Mindfulness,6(2), 290-302. doi:10.1007/s12671-013-0260-4

Napoli, M., Krech, P.R., & Holley, L.C. (2005) Mindfulness Training for Elementary School Students. Journal of Applied Psychology, 21(1), 99-125

Mindfulness training can help to improve self-control and emotion regulation.

Metz, S. M., Frank, J. L., Reibel, D., Cantrell, T., Sanders, R., & Broderick, P. C. (2013). The Effectiveness of the Learning to BREATHE Program on Adolescent Emotion Regulation. Research in Human Development,10(3), 252-272. doi:10.1080/15427609.2013.818488

Mindfulness practice can help with perspective taking, and emotional control and lead to less peer-related aggression.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Lawlor, M. S. (2010). The Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Education Program on Pre- and Early Adolescents’ Well-Being and Social and Emotional Competence. Mindfulness,1(3), 137-151. doi:10.1007/s12671-010-0011-8

Research shows that Loving Kindness Meditation  benefits ranging from benefiting well-being, to giving relief from illness and improving emotional intelligence:

For additional mindfulness-related resources, see:

Good articles on the topic

Christophe Andre (2019, January)  Proper Breathing Brings Better Health:Stress reduction, insomnia prevention, emotion control, improved attention—certain breathing techniques can make life better. But where do you start? Scientific American

Brannon, K  (2018, April) School-based yoga can help children manage stress and Anxiety, Tulane University

Davis, L.C., (2015,August) When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom, The Atlantic Monthly.

Delehanty, H. (2017, December) Meditators Under the Microscope Mindful Magazine

Gelles, D., (2018, January)  Mindfulness for Children  The New York Times

Benefits of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

The benefits of Social and Emotional Learning are long-lasting.

  2017 meta-analysis  and see

Teaching SEL can lead to academic gains.

Duriak, Joseph A. et al. (2011) The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions. Child Development January 2011.

A randomized control study found that social-emotional skills gained in preschool ‘made unique contributions to kindergarten outcomes in reading achievement and learning engagement.

Nix, Bierman, Domitrovich and Gill (2013): Promoting Children’s Social-Emotional Skills in Preschool Can Enhance Academic and Behavioral Functioning in Kindergarten: Findings from Head Start REDI:

Creating a positive school climate and dedicating class time to social and emotional learning are two important and evidence approaches to bullying prevention.

Bradshaw, C. P. (2015). Translating research to practice in bullying prevention. American Psychologist,70(4), 322-332. doi:10.1037/a0039114

Helpful Articles

Blad, Evie (2018, January) Experts Agree Social-Emotional Learning Matters and Are Plotting Roadmap on How to Do It  Education Week

Weese, K. (2016, October) How to Raise Kinder Less Entitled Kids According to Science The Washington Post  On Parenting Section

Student Walkouts Show Compassion is a tool for Change – CNN opinion piece by  Patricia Jennings March 14, 2018

Brain Science and mindfulness for children

Peace of Mind teaches children about the roles of the amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in regulating emotions, calming down, focusing attention and making good choices.  We draw on the work of Dr. Dan Siegel. 


While the following 3 studies are not child-specific, they do inform our work:

Gold, A. L., Morey, R. A., & Mccarthy, G. (2015). Amygdala–Prefrontal Cortex Functional Connectivity During Threat-Induced Anxiety and Goal Distraction. Biological Psychiatry,77(4), 394-403. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.03.030

Euston, D., Gruber, A., & Mcnaughton, B. (2012). The Role of Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Memory and Decision Making. Neuron,76(6), 1057-1070. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.12.002

Holzel, Britta K., James Carmody, Mark Vangel, Christina Congleton, Sita M. Yerramsetti, Tim Gard, and Sara W. Lazar. (2011) Mindfulness Practice Leads to Increases in Regional Brain Gray Matter Density. Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging 191.1 (2011) 36-43.

Helpful article on the topic

Congleton, C., Hözel, B. K., & Lazar (2015, January) “Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain,”  The Harvard Business Review.

The power of Mindfulness to address implicit bias

Mindfulness and Transforming Bias by Oren Jay Sofer, Mindful Schools

The Negativity Bias

to come

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