Implementing mindfulness and yoga in urban schools: A community-academic partnership

Tamar Mendelson, Jacinda K. Dariotis, Laura Feagans Gould, Ali S.R. Smith, Atman A. Smith, Andres A. Gonzalez, Mark T. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Purpose - Mindfulness-based interventions - which train capacities for attention, awareness, compassion, and self-regulation of thoughts and emotions - may offer unique benefits for urban youth exposed to chronic stress and adversity. Urban schools are promising settings in which to integrate mindfulness-based interventions; however, they pose complex challenges for intervention implementation and evaluation. Design/methodology/approach - The paper reflects on the experiences of our community-academic partnership conducting two school-based randomised trials on a mindfulness and yoga programme. The programme was developed by the Holistic Life Foundation and was delivered to middle school students in public schools serving disadvantaged urban communities. Findings - This paper discusses barriers and facilitating factors related to effective intervention delivery and evaluation, presents recommendations for future work and reflects on the potential benefits of mindfulness-based practices for students, teachers and schools. Originality/value - The paper offers a detailed account of challenges and opportunities associated with implementing mindfulness-based practices in urban school settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbers5
Pages (from-to)276-291
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Children's Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 16 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

Mendelson, T., Dariotis, J. K., Gould, L. F., Smith, A. S. R., Smith, A. A., Gonzalez, A. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2013). Implementing mindfulness and yoga in urban schools: A community-academic partnership. Journal of Children's Services, 8(4), 276-291. [s5].