Mindfulness: A Habit of Mind That Predicts Social Status in Youth

Social status asymmetries are a persistent feature of human life. Occupying a position at the top versus the bottom of a social hierarchy during youth development produces substantially disproportionate effects on well-being, learning, and longevity. Adaptive social behavioral patterns and trustworthiness are among the foremost determinants of youth social status, and mindfulness training enhances healthy social functioning. Accordingly, the present study tested the extent to which early adolescents’ disposition toward mindful states of attention and awareness predicted their peer- and teacher-rated social status, as mediated by behavioral adaptation and trustworthiness. Support for this hypothesis was found. Dispositional mindfulness may, indirectly, improve adolescent’s social standings in school.

James L. Floman
University of British Columbia, Canada

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