Research Round-Up: New study shows efficacy of Learning to BREATHE curriculum

A new study published in the latest issue of Research in Human Development, “The Effectiveness of the Learning to BREATHE Program on Adolescent Emotion Regulation” (Metz, Frank, Reibel, Cantrell, Sanders, and Broderick, 2013), assessed the effectiveness of Learning to BREATHE (L2B), the mindfulness-based program for adolescent emotion regulation that is outlined in one of this summer’s most exciting new titles, Learning To BREATHE: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotion Regulation, Attention, and Performance by Patricia C. Broderick, PhD.

Participants in the study included 216 suburban high school students from Pennsylvania in grades 10, 11, and 12. Student participants from both the program and comparison groups, which were each approximately two-thirds female, a mean age of 16, and an approximate even breakdown across 10th through 12th grades, reported moderate levels of stress, psychosomatic complaints, and emotion regulation abilities. 

The program group completed all six of the thematic lessons presented in the L2B curriculum (body, reflection, emotions, attention, tenderness, and healthy mind habits), which were administered by a teacher from the school who had attended an 8-week MBSR program, as well as a 2-day training specifically for L2B.

Students from the L2B program group reported lower levels of perceived stress and psychosomatic complaints, and higher levels of efficacy in affective regulation. L2B participants also showed increased emotion regulation skills, including emotional awareness, access to regulation strategies, and emotional clarity. Results showed a mean reduction in the L2B group’s lack of emotional awareness, and yet a larger reduction in psychosomatic symptoms from pretest to posttest as compared to those in the comparison group. The L2B group also reported reductions in difficulty concentrating. The L2B group also reported a reduction in the “feeling irritable/cranky” item, and showed improvement in the overall self-regulation efficacy. Additionally, there was a 10% decrease in the self-reported amount of stress in the past week.

For more information about Learning to BREATHE: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotion Regulation, Attention, and Performance, visit the book page here.


Metz, S. M., Frank, J. L., Reibel, D., Cantrell, T., Sanders, R., & Broderick, P. C. (2013). The effectiveness of the Learning to BREATHE program on adolescent emotion regulation. Research in Human Development, 10(3), 252–272. doi: 10.1080/_15427609.2013.818488.

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