Mindfulness in childhood key to keep depression at bay in adolescence

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 11:20 hrs

Mindfulness, which is a form of meditation therapy focused on exercising "attentiveness," can lead to a decrease in symptoms associated with depression in adolescents, a study has revealed.

The study was carried out at five middle schools in Flanders, Belgium and about 400 students between the ages of 13 and 20 took part in it.

The students were divided into a test group and a control group. The test group received mindfulness training, and the control group received no training.

Before the study, both groups completed a questionnaire with questions indicative of depression, stress or anxiety symptoms.

Both groups completed the questionnaire again directly after the training, and then a third time six months later.

Before the start of the training, both the test group (21 percent) and the control group (24 percent) had a similar percentage of students reporting evidence of depression.

After the mindfulness training, that number was significantly lower in the test group: 15 percent versus 27 percent in the control group.

This difference persisted six months after the training: 16 percent of the test group versus 31 percent of the control group reported evidence of depression.

The results suggest that mindfulness can lead to a decrease in symptoms associated with depression and, moreover, that it protects against the later development of depression-like symptoms. (ANI)

More from Sify: