Mindfulness Based Programs Implemented with At-Risk Adolescents

Kristen Rawlett*, Debra Scrandis
University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

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© Rawlett and Scrandis; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 West Lombard Street Room 675A, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA; Tel: 410-706-3906; Fax: 410-706-0253; Email:



This review examines studies on mindfulness based programs used with adolescents at-risk for poor future outcomes such as not graduating from high school and living in poverty.


The keywords used include mindfulness, at-risk and adolescents in each database to search CINAHL (10 items: 2 book reviews, 3 Dissertations, and 5 research articles), Medline EBSCO (15 research articles), and PubMed (10 research articles). Only primary research articles published between 2009- 2015 in English on mindfulness and at-risk adolescents were included for the most current evidence.


Few studies (n= 11) were found that investigate mindfulness in at-risk adolescents. These studies used various mindfulness programs (n = 7) making it difficult to generalize findings for practice. Only three studies were randomized control trials focusing mostly on male students with low socioeconomic status and existing mental health diagnoses.


There is a relationship between health behaviors and academic achievement. Future research studies on mindfulness based interventions need to expand to its effects on academic achievement in those youth at-risk to decrease problematic behaviors and improve their ability to be successful adults.

Keywords: Age 10-19, academic achievement, at-risk adolescents, interventions, mindfulness based programs, review.