iRT develops online and school-based programs to bring mindfulness into the lives of children and adolescents.
The value of mindfulness practice has grown over time because of the benefits that may result from integrating mindfulness into one’s life. There is a wealth of research that provides evidence that practicing mindfulness has a number of physical and mental health benefits for adults. Gaining in popularity is the training and practice in mindfulness with children and adolescents in developmentally appropriate ways. There is growing evidence that integrating mindfulness into therapeutic and school settings may result in positive outcomes for youth specific to their mental health and social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. There are existing, well-known mindfulness programs such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBSR, for example, been implemented with as well as adapted and tailored for different populations, including children, adolescents, and adults (including parents) and those who are typically developing, have chronic illness or disease, or have an intellectual and developmental disability. Numerous research studies have investigated the development and effectiveness of mindfulness intervention programs, continuing to provide support for the beneficial impact of mindfulness practice.
iRT believes in the value of mindfulness education and practice with children and adolescents and has developed school-based and online mindfulness programs for children and adolescents, both typically developing and those that have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In these programs, youth learn practical ways to use mindfulness skills, so that these skills can be applied to their everyday lives, both during the program and after the program is completed. By practicing mindfulness, youth learn how to be aware of and manage their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, which in turn may improve their emotion and behavior regulation abilities and healthy decision-making in the face of stressful, challenging, or risky situations both in and out of school.
Dr. Alison Parker conducts research on school-based mindfulness education programs with elementary, middle, and high school youth, as well as virtual mindfulness education programs taught by using eLearning methods asynchronously for adolescents with a disability including teens with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and teens with 22q11DS.
Dr. Janis Kupersmidt conducts research on school-based mindfulness education programs with elementary, middle, and high school youth, as well as virtual mindfulness education programs taught by using eLearning methods asynchronously for adolescents with a disability including teens with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and teens with 22q11DS.
Parker, A. E. & Kupersmidt, J. B (2019). Teaching mindfulness to elementary school students. Presentation at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Statewide Summer Institute, Greensboro, NC, August 2019.
Parker, A. E., Kupersmidt, J. B., & Scull, T. M. (2016). Integrating mindfulness education into the elementary school classroom. Poster presented at the Society for Prevention Research, San Francisco, CA, April 2016.
Parker, A. E., Kupersmidt, J. B., Upton, S., Alter, M., & Olson, H. (2016, March). Online mindfulness program for adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder for healthy coping and decision-making skills. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence, Baltimore, MD.
Parker, A. E., Kupersmidt, J. B., & Willoughby, M. T. (2015). Mindfulness education and self-regulation in middle school. Poster presented at the Society for Prevention Research, Washington, DC, May 2015.
Parker, A. E. & Kupersmidt, J. B. (2015). Mindfulness education in elementary and middle school classrooms. Invited presentation at the Research Summit of the Yoga in Schools Symposium, Stockbridge, MA, February 2015.
Parker, A. E., Kupersmidt, J. B., & Upton, S. (2014). Mindfulness training and substance abuse prevention for youth. Workshop presented at the Annual National Prevention Network Prevention Research Conference, Hartford, CT., September 2014.
Parker, A. E., Kupersmidt, J. B., Carmichael Olson, H., Grant, T., (2014, April). Online mindfulness training for adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Oral presentation at the 6th National Biennial Conference on Adolescents and Adults with FASD, Vancouver, BC.
Parker, A. E., Kupersmidt, J. B., Mathis, E. T., Scull, T. M., & Sims, C. (2012). Preliminary investigation of a mindfulness education, substance abuse prevention program for elementary school children. Poster presented at the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, Denver, CO, April 2012.
Parker, A. E. & Kupersmidt, J. B. (2012) Mindfulness in education: Tools and strategies for the classroom. Mini-skills presentation at the National Association of School Psychologists Convention, Philadelphia, PA, February 2012.
Parker, A. E. & Kupersmidt, J. B. (2011). School-based mindfulness training improves early adolescents’ self-regulatory abilities. In C. L. O’Donnell & A. Sussman (Chairs), Focusing in School: Techniques to Support Regulation of Attention and Behavior in Young Children. Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC, May 2011.
Kupersmidt, J. B., & Parker, A. E., & Mathis, E. T. (2010). Master Mind: Mindfulness program for substance abuse prevention for elementary school students. Poster presented at the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, Garrison, NY, June 2010.
Parker, A. E., & Kupersmidt, J. B., & Pawlak, A. (2010). The Moment Program: Mindfulness-based, middle school academic achievement program. Poster presented at the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, Garrison, NY, June 2010.