Understanding the population we are working with
Growing up in urban communities, such as East or West Baltimore, that are characterized by having few resources, high rates of unemployment, homelessness and crime. Living in urban poverty brings increased exposure to crime and violence, particularly for adolescents. A growing body of research has documented that children and adolescents who grow up in poor neighborhoods do less well on a range of developmental outcomes, social, emotional and cognitive. Traumatic and stressful experiences, that may range from major life events (e.g. child abuse, divorce) to chronic interpersonal stress (e.g. family conflict) to daily hassles (e.g. no money for transportation), have been established as risk factors for a range of psychological problems, internalizing as well as externalizing. The risk of academic failure, school-dropout, internalizing as well as externalizing psychological problems, school bullying, and aggression in response to the exposure of traumatizing events is significantly higher to youth growing up in high-income neighborhoods. Even though urban youth has an increased risk of suffering from psychological problems, they are less likely to receive help.
To be able to deal with such stressful events, self-regulation skills, coping mechanism are required.
Each day, children are faced with stressful events for which regulation skills are required1.
Begin here with sentence why mindfulness, mediation, breathing exercises, yoga (contemplative exercises) for the group of Youth At-Risk
The field of research on contemplative practices, such as mindfulness and yoga is growing rapidly. Interventions targeting several domains suggest many positive promising effects.
|Resiliency and Optimism5
Improvement in grades9, better school functioning10
buffering effect, emotional arousal, prevention of negative effects of stress
self-regulatory capacities, emotion regulation12, increased attention, focusing
|Social competence and pro-social behaviors7
Over the years, we have collaborated with different research institutions, such as the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Penn State University, Loyola University, University of Baltimore. Please click below to find all references to the peer-reviewed publications.
Evaluation Outcomes of the Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Curriculum
The evaluation of our Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Curriculum showed that implementing our curriculum into the school-context was attractive to students, teachers and school administrators. Positive effects were observed on problematic behaviors including rumination, intrusive thoughts and emotional arousal. A qualitative assessment with middle school students following our intervention showed experiences in improved impulse control and emotional regulation.
|1. Compas, B. E., Jaser, S. S., Dunbar, J. P., Watson, K. H., Bettis, A. H., Gruhn, M. A., & Williams, E. K. (2013). Coping and emotion regulation from childhood to early adulthood: Points of convergence and divergence. Australian Journal of Psychology, 66(2), 71-81. doi:10.1111/ajpy.12043|