Mindfulness and academic performance: An example of migrant children in China

Shuang Lu, Chien Chung Huang, Juan Rios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Mindfulness emphasizes the awareness of the “here-and-now.” Studies in the recent decade have found that mindfulness can affect positive change in child and adolescent school performance. As an emerging field, however, the mechanisms and effects of mindfulness practice on academic performance for children in developing countries have not been elaborated sufficiently in previous studies. Using China as an example context, this paper examines the relationship between mindfulness practice and academic performance of migrant children, and explores the role of executive function in this relationship. Through a survey with 219 fifth-graders in two migrant schools in Beijing, this study validates the positive association between mindfulness, executive function, and better school grades in Chinese, math, and English tests. Additionally, this study adds empirical evidence to the roles of mindfulness in child development, and also sheds light on the pathway through which mindfulness positively correlates with academic performance. These findings provide implications for addressing child academic challenges and conducting further research among migrant children in China and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Nov 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Academic performance
  • China
  • Education
  • Executive function
  • Migrant children
  • Mindfulness


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