Erikson’s mindfulness research focuses on how children learn to cope with toxic stress

Writing in Crain’s Chicago Business, Geoffrey A. Nagle, Ph.D., explains how our federally funded research is helping create knowledge around the benefits of mindfulness techniques in the classroom.

As communities in Chicago grapple with issues like violence and poverty, Erikson Institute’s Mindfulness in the Schools project is looking at how young children can develop coping skills. These techniques enable them to deal with events that cause toxic stress and allow them to focus on learning.

In an op-ed piece published in Crain’s Chicago Business, Erikson President and Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey A. Nagle, Ph.D., writes that by studying the use of mindfulness techniques in 30 of the Chicago Public Schools, we are understanding more about the benefits of a practice that is growing in popularity in classrooms throughout the country.

“Our lead researcher, Amanda Moreno, has found this work is helping schools better meet children’s emotional needs during the early years,” Dr. Nagle writes. “Helping children form an early idea that ‘school is a place I like to be’ creates a critical protective shield for long-term school success.”