Mindfulness practice requires extensive concentration for a prolonged period of time (e.g., attending to breath/body sensation for above 5 minutes). It is reasonable to assume that it might be challenging for people who are highly inattentive. However, mindfulness has been used as a health intervention for individuals with ADHD (with inattention as a symptom).

One recent review with 9 studies (Lee et al., 2017) found that mindfulness is effective for adults with ADHD, yet it is

unclear whether mindfulness-based intervention is effective for children and adolescence with ADHD due to limited studies available and the limitations of the study design in the reviewed studies.

What are the recent mindfulness studies involving children with ADHD? And is there any research on people with inattention only?


Lee, C. S., Ma, M. T., Ho, H. Y., Tsang, K. K., Zheng, Y. Y., & Wu, Z. Y. (2017). The effectiveness of mindfulness-based intervention in attention on individuals with ADHD: A systematic review. Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy, 30, 33-41. doi: 10.1016/j.hkjot.2017.05.001

  • $\begingroup$ This is an interesting question. When providing references, it is preferred (If possible) to provide a doi number for research papers for ease of access. I have helped by doing that for you. $\endgroup$ Feb 6, 2019 at 8:11
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    $\begingroup$ Lee et al (2007) you referenced also didn't actually say that mindfulness is only effective in adults. They said, "It was found that mindfulness-based intervention was comparatively more popularly used in adults with ADHD to improve attention, and the improvement was significant. It is still unclear whether mindfulness-based intervention is effective for children and adolescence with ADHD due to limited studies available" I have also corrected this for you. Feel free to revert the edit back if you prefer $\endgroup$ Feb 6, 2019 at 8:16

1 Answer 1


The most up-to-date research I can find at the moment specifically looking at children with ADHD is a systematic review and meta-analysis by Chimiklis et al (2018), and they point out that yoga, mindfulness and meditation should not be considered first-line interventions for ADHD but may help and more research is needed.

Considerable risk for bias was found across studies. Given significant methodological limitations of the literature, positive effect sizes found in studies should be interpreted with caution; these interventions should not be considered first-line interventions for ADHD. However, preliminary findings suggest yoga, mindfulness, and meditation may be beneficial for youth with ADHD, but extensive research is required to validate the efficacy of these interventions.


Chimiklis, A. L., Dahl, V., Spears, A. P., Goss, K., Fogarty, K., & Chacko, A. (2018). Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation interventions for youth with ADHD: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1-14. 10.1007/s10826-018-1148-7

  • $\begingroup$ Since this got bumped, might you consider adding something about the purpose of mindfulness meditation to this answer? It may not be first line treatment, but mindfulness is basically an attempt to train a sort of attention; as such, it's reasonable to expect that people having difficulties with attending (whether ADHD or not) have the most potential for benefit. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 7, 2019 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause - I agree that mindfulness meditation has the potential to benefit ADHD sufferers and others having difficulty with attention; and it may be reasonable to expect mindfulness meditation to help. It may help as I indicated in my answer, but we cannot say for certain that it does help without the results to back it up with. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2019 at 7:11
  • $\begingroup$ I agree, but the OP implies that it's harder to do mindfulness meditation when you have attention difficulty. The whole point of mindfulness, though, is to train your attention. They sort of have it backwards. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 8, 2019 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ I see what you mean @BryanKrause $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2019 at 13:27

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