Effects of Samatha Meditation on Active Academic Engagement and Math Performance of Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Abstract

Students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often do not actively engage in academic instruction because they have difficulty in attending to task demands in the classroom. Without adequate intervention, this may result in poor academic outcomes for these students. In a multiple baseline design study, we taught four 5th-grade students Samatha meditation and assessed active engagement in math instruction and the percentage of math problems correctly solved during baseline, meditation training, and meditation practice phases. Results showed the students had varying but low percentages of intervals of active engagement in math instruction during baseline, but evidenced statistically significant increases from baseline to the meditation practice phase. Similarly, their low but varying percentages of math problems solved correctly during baseline showed statistically significant increases from baseline to the meditation practice phase. These results suggest that Samatha meditation may enhance cognitive processes in students with ADHD at a level to benefit them academically.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Correspondence to Nirbhay N. Singh.

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Singh, N.N., Lancioni, G.E., Karazsia, B.T. et al. Effects of Samatha Meditation on Active Academic Engagement and Math Performance of Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Mindfulness 7, 68–75 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-015-0424-5

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Keywords

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Samatha meditation
  • Active academic engagement
  • Math
  • Executive function
  • Students
  • Schools
  • Mindfulness