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

One fairly recent review with 9 studies (Lee et al., 2017) found 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's the newest finding with 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. $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Feb 6 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 $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Feb 6 at 8:16

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


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