Although research on mindfulness with children and adolescents is increasing, it still lags far behind the quantity and quality of mindfulness research with adults. Our evidence-based understandings of “what works for whom, how, and why” is still rudimentary. Mindfulness programs, however, are proliferating in schools, clinics, and community settings worldwide. Many of these are being taught by mindfulness practitioners who have remarkable experiential understandings of mindfulness, but little knowledge of how to evaluate their programs using sound research methods. At the same time, researchers may prefer to conduct experimental studies that are rigorous and controlled (a.k.a. publishable), rather than conduct naturalistic program evaluations. Dr. Semple will discuss the importance of integrating youth mindfulness research and practice, and explore ways to facilitate greater communication, collaboration, and compassion between researchers, clinicians, educators, and practitioners.
Randye J. Semple, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Professor Semple earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University and is licensed to practice in New York and California. Her research and clinical interests are in the application of mindfulness to psychological health and well-being, particularly development and assessment of mindfulness-based interventions for children in clinic and school settings. Dr. Semple is co-author of the book Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Anxious Children; Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Mindfulness; Consulting Editor for Spirituality in Clinical Practice; and past-President of the Mindfulness and Acceptance special interest group of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Dr. Semple is a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute.