This project is investigating the effects of mindfulness training during early childhood. Because the neural networks supporting cognitive control and executive function are undergoing major developmental change during this period, implementing mindfulness training during the preschool years may be especially beneficial. However, given that young children have a very limited ability to focus for extended periods of time, it may be too difficult to engage children in this kind of training. To investigate if preschoolers can practice mindfulness and if doing so has any benefits for self-regulation, we developed an 8-lesson mindfulness curriculum for preschoolers. The curriculum was implemented in two different samples (in a preschool, taught by visiting teachers and in a group of children completing the class along with their parents). Participants completed tests measuring self-regulation before and after the training. Analysis is currently ongoing.

Kristen Lyons

University of Minnesota