La méditation n'aurait pas d'effet sur les risques de dépression, la gestion des émotions et le bien-être auprès des jeunes élèves à l'école et pourrait même avoir des effets délétères chez certains. © WavebreakMediaMicro, Adobe Stock

Mindfulness meditation at school, a bad idea?

At school or workplace, mindfulness meditation is practiced by students on one hand and employees on the other hand to take care of their mental health. Although one of the premises of this current is to place responsibility on the individual rather than the environment, from an integrative perspective, one might wonder whether the practice of depression meditation can actually reduce the risks of depression. Better manage one’s emotions and increase well-being. According to one of the most robust studies published on the question the answer is “no”.

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[EN VIDÉO] Meditation at School: An Experience in the Movie Happy
Meditation promotes mindfulness and empathy, reducing the risk of stress and depression. It is also good for our mental and physical health. Learning this, many schools introduce meditation into their daily routine. Part of Happy hit the theaters on October 30.

The Back to school Fast approaching, you may be one of those teachers who integrates mindfulness meditation with the goal of increasing your students’ well-being or improving their emotion management. Before you get started, have you wondered to what extent this practice and its purported benefits have been verified by scientific research?

Whether from an ecological (results in a classroom environment) or experimental (results on brain markers in the laboratory) perspective, Meditation Full Awareness has yet to live up to its claims.

A robust trial with an active control group

A number of problems recur in studies of effectiveness Mindful meditation. In general, the design of the study does not allow the results to be considered statistically robust. In question, the small number of individuals within the samples severely limits the statistical power of the experiment and the inactivity of the control group. Gate Loss of group comparison.

wide A randomized trial Controlled by groups formed in Great Britain” My resilience in youth (Myriad), published in the area Evidence-based mental health from British Medical Journal, attempts to address these methodological challenges. It included a sample of more than 8,300 students in 84 different schools and a control group receiving regular instruction. mental health and well-being.

Results are explained in an integrated model that takes into account the influence of environmental variables (country, school size, school gender distribution) and individual variables (age, gender, race, depression risk, socio-emotional behavior, well-being). existence). Pooling all of this data, the investigators found no benefit in the groups that received meditation lessons either after the intervention or one year later.

They also point out the danger of doing so younger In people whose executive functions are still immature, or who are at risk of depression, meditation can be harmful. Interpretations of these results are complex, but they are sufficient to cast doubt on the claims of meditation techniques in the classroom.

Neurological paralysis in the hot seat

As a last resort, it can be argued that the effects of meditation are long-lasting by taking a card from the neuroscientific argument that the practice of meditation increases. Brain plasticity and thicken certain areas of the brain. First, this argument turns meditation into a tool during the school year, when the aforementioned study lasted a year and found no trace of effectiveness. Second, studies of the effects of meditation on the brain suffer from the same methodological problems as environmental studies.

Fortunately, a recent study has been published Science Also addressing methodological challenges relevant to this research question, there were no differences between the active control group and the meditating control group in most brain structures. Therefore, based on this recent evidence, claims of mindfulness meditation in the school environment should be cautious until proven otherwise.

You have to remember

  • Mindfulness meditation can reduce the risk of depression, help one learn to better manage one’s emotions, and increase well-being;
  • Its claims are not supported by very strong clinical trials on the subject;
  • The neurotic argument is no longer valid when the issues of sample size and control group inactivity are addressed;
  • Therefore, it is best to remain cautious until the claims of mindfulness meditation are proven otherwise.

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