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Alam published in Sport Social Work Journal

Nafees Alam
Nafees Alam

Nafees Alam, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, published “Practice Note: Using Yoga for Emotional Regulation in Intermediate School Teenagers” in Sport Social Work Journal.

An intermediate public school hosted a six week class teaching yoga and mindfulness activities to 17 students three times per week. These students were selected by mental health counselors, and were all diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and major depressive disorder.

A pre-test and post-test survey was administered to gauge the effectiveness of the program. The results showed that the combined happiness score of participants rose more than 20%, and that more than 75% of the students used meditation techniques during the week to improve their mood through at-home meditation and deep breathing exercises. Lastly, 35% of the students said they would continue to practice the yoga techniques moving forward, and all 17 participants said they enjoyed the class and look forward to attending it.

According to Alam, disruptive behavior is not only bad for classroom productivity and grades, but it can also cause individuals to have more problems later in life. A high percentage of students with emotional and behavioral disorders end up dropping out of school, and within five years 78% of dropouts will get sent to prison – and 48% of students who don’t drop out also end up in prison. This study was conducted in order to see the impact that yoga and meditation has on a students emotions and behavior, and hopefully get teachers to understand how to support students more, Alam said.