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HeartMath for Youth Resiliency and Violence Prevention

Mother and Daughter Together  talking at Home
Pilot research to test a universal educational program to build youth resilience and conflict management skills.
  • Client
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dates
    September 2019 – September 2023

Problem

There is a lack of effective approaches to reducing youth violence and the impact of child abuse and neglect, especially in schools. 

Reducing exposure and building resiliency to child abuse and neglect, youth violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and self-harm requires community-wide efforts. Targeted approaches to reduce subtypes of violence are costly and miss the concentric overlap of violence involvement.

Solution

NORC is evaluating a neurophysiological curriculum as a universal, trauma-informed intervention to build youth resiliency and prevent violence. 

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), principal investigator Elizabeth Mumford is collaborating with Dr. Jeff Temple (University of Texas Medical Branch) and the HeartMath Institute to evaluate the effectiveness of the HeartMath Smart Brain Wise Heart curriculum to build youth resiliency and reduce youth violence, sexual violence, teen dating violence (TDV), and suicidal ideation.

Faculty and students learned about the relationship between breathing, their heart rhythms, and their physical and mental states. These physiological lessons were imparted as foundational skills for self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills.

Result

A rigorously tested universal intervention will have significant benefits for youth, their families, and educators.

Developing a universal intervention to impact youth, educators, and families through the school community has the potential to streamline school-based resources for efficient violence prevention, thus saving costs and time for academic goals and providing fundamental skills for abused and neglected youth to break cycles of violence.

Project Leads

“School communities face enormous responsibilities. Teaching fundamental knowledge through universal education programs about individual neurophysiology and how we can build personal resilience and better manage conflicts frees individual and school personnel resources to focus on shared academic goals.”

Principal Investigator

“School communities face enormous responsibilities. Teaching fundamental knowledge through universal education programs about individual neurophysiology and how we can build personal resilience and better manage conflicts frees individual and school personnel resources to focus on shared academic goals.”

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