Improve Behavior in the Classroom with Mindfulness

Improve Behavior in the Classroom with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness practices help children improve their ability to pay attention, by learning to focus on one thing (e.g., breath, sound) while filtering out other stimuli. Mindfulness also provides kids with skills for understanding their emotions and how to work with them. I’m not sure if there any other skills besides these — paying attention and regulating one’s emotions — that are more important for successful human functioning, let alone education!” – Sarah Beach

 

Elementary school is an environment that has a huge effect on development. It is also an excellent time to teach children the skills to adaptively negotiate its environment. Mindfulness training in school, at all levels has been shown to have very positive effects. These include academic, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. Importantly, mindfulness training in school appears to improve the student’s self-concept. It also improves attentional ability and reduces stress, which are keys to successful learning in school. Another key is the ability of children to manage their behavior in school and remain on-task as much as possible.

 

Behavior management based upon behavior modification techniques has been shown to be very effective in promoting positive classroom behavior. It is not known, however, if mindfulness training can supplement and improve the effectiveness of the application of behavior management techniques. In today’s Research News article “Preliminary Evidence on the Efficacy of Mindfulness Combined with Traditional Classroom Management Strategies.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622000/, Kasson and Wilson employ a multiple baseline research design to investigate the effectiveness of the combination of mindfulness and behavior management in promoting positive classroom behaviors in 3rd grade students.

 

They observed the behaviors of 6 3rd grade students in their classroom. They rated the students every 5 minutes for on-task behaviors, defined as “remaining within 1 ft. of one’s desk and interacting with materials as to participate in current classroom activity.” Students were observed initially (baseline) and under three conditions; behavior management, behavior management plus mindfulness, and self-monitoring. Behavior management consisted of “(a) use of a signal to obtain student attention (e.g., clapping sequence to be repeated by students), (b) use of a transition timer (e.g., visual countdown timer on Smart Board during activity transitions), (c) ignoring inappropriate student behavior, and (d) implementing a reinforcer incentive system.” Mindfulness exercises occurred for 15 minutes three times per week. The exercises included quiet time, deep breathing, structured breathing, present moment awareness, mindful eating, and mindful movement. Self-monitoring consisted of each student giving “himself a plus or minus during each activity throughout the day based on how well he thought he followed classroom rules.”

 

They found that during baseline the students were on task an average of 79% of the time. The behavior management phase the students increased their on-task behaviors with an average of 87% on task with an effect size of .58, while during the combined behavior management plus mindfulness phase the students further increased their on-task behaviors to 91% with an average effect size of .78. Self-monitoring produced mixed effects with most students regressing to baseline levels of on-task behaviors.

 

The study suggests that behavior management is effective in improving elementary students’ positive classroom behaviors and that mindfulness training can further improve on-task behavior. This was a short-term study and there is a need for further research to investigate if the effectiveness of behavior management and mindfulness training is sustained over longer periods up to school semesters. It is assumed but not measured that the improved attention to task translates to improved learning. This also remains for future research to investigate.

 

Nevertheless, these results suggest that mindfulness training is a positive asset in promoting attention to classroom learning tasks. It has been previously established that mindfulness training has positive benefits for children. The present study demonstrates that, mindfulness training, in school, even in young children, can be effectively implemented and can improve the students’ attention to the task at hand in the classroom.

 

So, improve behavior in the classroom with mindfulness.

 

“Students “are just craving for ways to handle and cope with their stress” in healthy and nondestructive ways. It becomes sort of like instinctive and intuitive for them to just search for alternative ways to cope with their stress that have nothing to do with drugs or alcohol or whatever destructive behavior.” – Violaine Gueritault

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Kasson, E. M., & Wilson, A. N. (2017). Preliminary Evidence on the Efficacy of Mindfulness Combined with Traditional Classroom Management Strategies. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 10(3), 242–251. http://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-016-0160-x

 

Abstract

The current case study combined mindfulness-based strategies with a classroom behavior management treatment package, to assist teachers with managing 3rd grade student behaviors. Two teachers (Classroom teacher and Specials teacher) and six students within the same classroom were observed using a 5-min momentary time sampling procedure. A delayed multiple baseline across settings (e.g., Classroom teacher, Specials teacher) design was used to assess student behaviors across baseline (A), classroom behavior management treatment package (CBM) (B), CBM plus mindfulness (C), and CBM plus mindfulness and self-monitoring (D). Behavioral treatment alone increased on-task behaviors for four of six (66%) students compared to baseline; however, five of six (83%) students increased and sustained high rates of on-task behaviors when mindfulness exercises were added to the behavior analytic techniques. These preliminary results support the combination of mindfulness-based strategies with traditional behavior analytic interventions for increasing student on-task behaviors in classroom settings.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622000/

Improve Emotions of Ethnically Diverse At-Risk Students with Mindfulness

Improve Emotions of Ethnically Diverse At-Risk Students with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“There is plenty of evidence available now that demonstrates the value of teaching mindfulness to young people, and many of the benefits of mindfulness are skills and dispositions that are especially helpful in the context of education. Mindfulness practices help children improve their ability to pay attention, by learning to focus on one thing (e.g., breath, sound) while filtering out other stimuli. Mindfulness also provides kids with skills for understanding their emotions and how to work with them.” – Sarah Beach

 

Adolescence should be a time of mental, physical, social, and emotional growth. It is during this time that higher levels of thinking, sometimes called executive function, develops. These executive functions are an important foundation for success in the complex modern world. But, adolescence can be a difficult time, fraught with challenges. During this time the child transitions to young adulthood; including the development of intellectual, psychological, physical, and social abilities and characteristics. There are so many changes occurring during this time that the child can feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with all that is required. These difficulties can be markedly amplified by negative life events during childhood.

 

At-risk youth confront unique pressures that have been linked to poor psychosocial outcomes, impaired academic performance, and maladaptive behaviors such as substance use and delinquency. These risk factors may include language barriers, low SES, parents’ own involvement in high risk or illegal behavior, restrictive or neglectful parenting, and home environments that expose children to alcohol and substance abuse. Mindfulness training has been found to be helpful for adolescents and also to improve performance in school. So, it is possible that mindfulness training would be helpful for at-risk adolescents.

 

In today’s Research News article “A School-Based Mindfulness Pilot Study for Ethnically Diverse At-Risk Adolescents.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4809539/pdf/nihms652885.pdf, Bluth and colleagues recruited adolescents who were attending an alternative high school for troublesome and at-risk students. They were randomly assigned to receive either and 11-week class of mindfulness training or substance abuse training. The mindfulness training included body scan, sitting meditation, lovingkindness practice, walking meditation and mindful movement. The substance abuse training consisted of lectures designed to help adolescents address drug use and co-occurring life problems. The students were measured before and after the trainings for class attendance, retention, program acceptability, mindfulness, self-compassion, social connectedness, anxiety, depression, and perceived stress.

 

At the beginning of the mindfulness training there was considerable resistance and acting out. But, by the end of training the students responded that the class was helpful and wanted it to continue. They also found that the mindfulness training produced significant improvements in the students’ depression and anxiety levels. Mindfulness training has in the past been repeatedly shown to help relieve depression and anxiety. But, it is an important finding that it can do so in these difficult to treat at-risk adolescents. So, the study showed that mindfulness training was feasible and acceptable to these at-risk adolescents and produced improvements in their negative emotions.

 

The results are encouraging. These troubled youths are extremely difficult to work with and treat and that was reflected in the negative behaviors at the beginning of the class. But, by the end of the class the students found the mindfulness training useful and there were fairly large improvements in anxiety and depression. There were trends for other improvements and a larger future trial may be able to demonstrate other benefits of the mindfulness training. Although it was clear that mindfulness training is not a panacea for troubled youths, it can be helpful and provide space for them to destress and explore their inner lives.

 

So, improve emotions of ethnically diverse at-risk students with mindfulness.

 

“But a growing body of evidence suggests that mindfulness practice could be beneficial to teens, helping them cultivate empathy, as well as skills for concentration and impulse control. In short, mindfulness can help adolescents navigate the challenges of adolescence.” Sarah Beach

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Bluth, K., Campo, R. A., Pruteanu-Malinici, S., Reams, A., Mullarkey, M., & Broderick, P. C. (2016). A School-Based Mindfulness Pilot Study for Ethnically Diverse At-Risk Adolescents. Mindfulness, 7(1), 90–104. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-014-0376-1

 

Adolescence is a transitional period marked by rapid physical, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive developmental changes. In addition to these normative development changes, adolescents also face a multitude of contextual stressors such as academic pressures at school, changing relationships with peers, and all too often, unstable family life characterized by divorce, frequent moves, income and occupational changes, and disruptions in family routines. Up to a quarter of adolescents suffer from depression or anxiety disorders, and an even larger proportion struggle with subclinical symptoms. Anxiety and depression during this stage can lead to impaired academic, social, and family functioning, and have long-term adverse outcomes.

Given the need to better understand both the implementation and potential benefit of mindfulness programs for at-risk youth, we conducted a randomized pilot study to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of such an intervention with ethnically diverse, primarily Hispanic youth enrolled in an alternative high school. We specifically examine intervention effects on psychosocial wellbeing and school performance relative to the control group, a class which focused on substance abuse prevention.

this study contributes to the literature by confirming the feasibility and acceptability of a mindfulness intervention with this population, and expands our knowledge on what works.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4809539/pdf/nihms652885.pdf

Improve Teachers’ Coping with Stress and Emotion Regulation with Mindfulness

Improve Teachers’ Coping with Stress and Emotion Regulation with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“For me, it’s important to be very familiar with the subject matter before I teach it. . . It’s the same with meditation. Before I began consciously bringing mindfulness into the classroom, I needed to feel like I knew what I was doing and had benefited from it.” – Elizabeth McAvoy

 

Teaching is a stressful profession causing many to burn out and leave the profession. A recent survey found that roughly half a million U.S. teachers move or leave the profession each year. That’s a turnover rate of about 20 percent compared to 9 percent in 2009. Indeed, anywhere from 40 and 50 percent of teachers will leave the classroom within their first five years, with over nine percent leaving before the end of their first year.

 

The high stress of the occupation shows up in higher rates of anxiety disorders, but particularly in physical ailments, with higher rates of laryngitis, conjunctivitis, lower urinary tract infections, bronchitis, eczema/dermatitis and varicose veins in female teachers. There is a pressing need to retain good teachers. So, it has become very important to identify means to help relieve the stress and lower burnout rates.

 

Mindfulness has been shown repeatedly to decrease physiological and psychological responses to stress. Mindfulness has also been shown to help improve performance and relieve stress in students. In addition, mindfulness has been shown to decrease burnout in a variety of professions. So, it would seem reasonable to suspect that mindfulness training would help teachers to reduce stress, the consequent physical symptoms, and burnout.

 

In today’s Research News article “Teaching Mindfulness to Teachers: a Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605579/, Emerson and colleagues review the published research literature on the effects of mindfulness training on teachers of students from 5 to 18 years of age. They identified 12 published research studies employing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and variations on these programs.

 

They found that the research strongly suggests that mindfulness training significantly improves the ability of the teachers to cope with and regulate their emotions and suggests that it also significantly reduces the teachers’ physical and psychological responses to stress. Less clear cut was mindfulness effectiveness for reducing anxiety and depression and increasing self-efficacy, compassion, and self-compassion.

 

These are interesting and important findings that suggest that mindfulness training equips teachers to withstand the stresses of their profession and help them to keep control of their emotions. These may go a long way to preventing professional burnout. In addition, by reducing stress and improving emotion regulation mindfulness training should allow them to be better teachers. It is clear, however, that further research is needed to clarify any other benefits of mindfulness training.

 

So, improve teachers’ coping with stress and emotion regulation with mindfulness.

 

“Teachers who received mindfulness training “showed reduced psychological distress and time urgency . . . And then improvements in mindfulness and emotion regulation. Translation: These teachers were better able to cope with classroom challenges and manage their feelings, which made it easier for them to manage their students’ big feelings. And that helps students learn.” – Patricia Jennings,

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Emerson, L.-M., Leyland, A., Hudson, K., Rowse, G., Hanley, P., & Hugh-Jones, S. (2017). Teaching Mindfulness to Teachers: a Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis. Mindfulness, 8(5), 1136–1149. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0691-4

 

Abstract

School teachers report high levels of stress which impact on their engagement with pupils and effectiveness as a teacher. Early intervention or prevention approaches may support teachers to develop positive coping and reduce the experience and impact of stress. This article reviews research on one such approach: mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for school teachers. A systematic review and narrative synthesis were conducted for quantitative and qualitative studies that report the effects of MBIs for teachers of children aged 5–18 years on symptoms of stress and emotion regulation and self-efficacy. Twelve independent publications were identified meeting the inclusion criteria and these gave a total of 13 samples. Quality appraisal of the identified articles was carried out. The effect sizes and proportion of significant findings are reported for relevant outcomes. The quality of the literature varied, with main strengths in reporting study details, and weaknesses including sample size considerations. A range of MBIs were employed across the literature, ranging in contact hours and aims. MBIs showed strongest promise for intermediary effects on teacher emotion regulation. The results of the review are discussed in the context of a model of teacher stress. Teacher social and emotional competence has implications for pupil wellbeing through teacher–pupil relationships and effective management of the classroom. The implications for practice and research are considered.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605579/

Decrease Stress and Improve Academic Performance with Mindfulness

Decrease Stress and Improve Academic Performance with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Those higher in mindfulness experienced less anxiety associated with high-pressure math tests, and this in turn was linked with improved performance.” – Matthew Brensilver

 

In the modern world education is a key for success. Where a high school education was sufficient in previous generations, a college degree is now required to succeed in the new knowledge based economies. There is a lot of pressure on students to excel so that they can be admitted to the best universities and there is a lot of pressure on university students to excel so that they can get the best jobs after graduation. As a result, parents and students are constantly looking for ways to improve student performance in school.

 

The primary tactic has been to pressure the student and clear away routine tasks and chores so that the student can focus on their studies. But, this might in fact be counterproductive as the increased pressure can actually lead to stress and anxiety which can impede performance. A better tactic may be the development of mindfulness skills with contemplative practices. These practices and high levels of mindfulness have been shown to be helpful in coping with the school environment and for the performance of both students and teachers. So, perhaps, mindfulness training may provide the needed edge in college academic performance.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Randomized Controlled Pilot Intervention Study of a Mindfulness-Based Self-Leadership Training (MBSLT) on Stress and Performance.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605596/, Sampl and colleagues recruited college students and randomly assigned them to either receive a 10-week Mindfulness-Based Self-Leadership Training (MBSLT) program or a wait-list control condition.  MBSLT was administered once a week for 2 hours. In addition to mindfulness training MBSLT trained students in self-goal setting, self-reward, self-observation, self-cueing and reminding, visualizing successful performances, self-talk, and evaluating beliefs and assumption. The participants were also given exercises to be practiced at home. All participants were measured before and after training for mindfulness, self-leadership, perceived stress, test anxiety, self-efficacy, semester grades, and Grade Point Average (GPA).

 

They found that at the conclusion of training the Mindfulness-Based Self-Leadership Training (MBSLT) group had significantly greater mindfulness, self-efficacy, and self-leadership and significantly lower levels of perceived stress and test anxiety. Importantly, the MBSLT group had significantly 24% higher grades at the end of the semester than the control group. Hence, mindfulness training improved the student’s mental health and academic performance.

These results are interesting and important and replicate prior research findings that mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety, including test anxiety and improves self-efficacy and academic performance. The present study supplemented mindfulness training with self-leadership training. Since there was not a mindfulness only or a self-leadership training only condition, it cannot be determined whether each component alone or in combination produced the benefits. In addition, they did not perform a mediation analysis to determine if the improvements in the students’ psychological condition was responsible for the improved academic performance.

 

Regardless, it is clear that the Mindfulness-Based Self-Leadership Training (MBSLT) training produced significant improvements in the students’ mental condition and academic performance. The magnitude of the increase in grades was striking and suggests that the mindfulness training may be important for college students to allow them to improve their psychological outlook and in turn reach their full academic potential.

 

So, decrease stress and improve academic performance with mindfulness.

 

“cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with widereaching consequences.” – Michael Mrazek

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sampl, J., Maran, T., & Furtner, M. R. (2017). A Randomized Controlled Pilot Intervention Study of a Mindfulness-Based Self-Leadership Training (MBSLT) on Stress and Performance. Mindfulness, 8(5), 1393–1407. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0715-0

 

Abstract

The present randomized pilot intervention study examines the effects of a mindfulness-based self-leadership training (MBSLT) specifically developed for academic achievement situations. Both mindfulness and self-leadership have a strong self-regulatory focus and are helpful in terms of stress resilience and performance enhancements. Based on several theoretical points of contact and a specific interplay between mindfulness and self-leadership, the authors developed an innovative intervention program that improves mood as well as performance in a real academic setting. The intervention was conducted as a randomized controlled study over 10 weeks. The purpose was to analyze the effects on perceived stress, test anxiety, academic self-efficacy, and the performance of students by comparing an intervention and control group (n = 109). Findings demonstrated significant effects on mindfulness, self-leadership, academic self-efficacy, and academic performance improvements in the intervention group. Results showed that the intervention group reached significantly better grade point averages than the control group. Moreover, the MBSLT over time led to a reduction of test anxiety in the intervention group compared to the control group. Furthermore, while participants of the control group showed an increase in stress over time, participants of the intervention group maintained constant stress levels over time. The combination of mindfulness and self-leadership addressed both positive effects on moods and on objective academic performance. The effects demonstrate the great potential of combining mindfulness with self-leadership to develop a healthy self-regulatory way of attaining achievement-related goals and succeeding in high-stress academic environments.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605596/

Improve Adolescent Mental Health and School Performance with Yoga

Improve Adolescent Mental Health and School Performance with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“school-based yoga cultivates competencies in mind-body awareness, self-regulation, and physical fitness. And classroom teachers benefit as well. Taken together, these competencies may lead to improvements in students’ behavior, mental state, health, and performance, as well as teacher resilience, effectiveness and overall classroom climate.“ – Bethany Butzer

 

Yoga practice has been shown to have a large number of beneficial effects on the psychological, emotional, and physical health of the individual and is helpful in the treatment of mental and physical illness. The acceptance of yoga practice has spread from the home and yoga studios to its application with children in schools. Studies of these school programs have found that yoga practice produces a wide variety of positive psychosocial and physical benefits. These include improved mood state, self-control, aggression and social problems, self-regulation, emotion regulation, feelings of happiness and relaxation, self-esteem, social and physical well-being, self-concept, tolerance, nonviolence, truthfulness, overall, general, and social self-esteem, positive health, self-adjustment, and working-memory capacity, ability to focus, control behavior under stress, greater kinesthetic awareness, stress reduction and management, and social cohesion, focus, perseverance, and positive relationships. They have also shown that the yoga practice produces lower levels of anxiety, depression, general distress, physical arousal, and hostility, rumination, and intrusive thoughts, and alcohol use.

 

Teachers also note improvements in their students following yoga practice. These include improved classroom behavior and social–emotional skills, concentration, mood, ability to function under pressure, social skills, and attention and lower levels of. Hyperactivity and performance impairment. In addition, school records, academic tests, and physiological measures have shown that yoga practice produces improvements in student grades and academic performance, cortisol concentrations, micronutrient absorption, flexibility, grip strength, abdominal strength, respiratory muscle strength, heart rate variability, and stress reactivity.

 

Although yoga practice has been demonstrated to have great benefits for school children, the studies, in general, were carried out in schools in middle class areas. It is unknown whether yoga practice could have the same benefits with poor, inner city, children. In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of a School-Based Yoga Program on Adolescent Mental Health and School Performance: Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below). Frank and colleagues recruited 6th and 9th grade students from an inner city middle school and randomly assigned them to receive either yoga practice or no treatment. The yoga practice occurred for 30 minutes per day for 3 to 4 days per week in the Fall semester and included breathing exercises, yoga postures, and meditation. The students were measured before and after the semester for school engagement, attitudes toward violence, positive and negative emotions, responses to stress, and somatization. In addition, the students’ academic and behavioral records from the school were inspected.

 

They found that the yoga group, compared to the no treatment group, had significantly fewer unexcused absences, fewer detentions, and higher levels of school engagement, primary and secondary coping, emotion regulation, positive thinking, and cognitive restructuring with medium to large effect sizes. Hence the students who engaged in yoga practice during the semester had markedly improved school behavior, ability to cope with stress, and control emotions and thoughts.

 

These are remarkable results. Engagement in yoga practice in school had multiple and significant behavioral and psychological benefits for these middle school students. These results strongly suggest that a larger scale randomized controlled trial with an active control group, e.g. exercise, and longer-term follow-up, should be performed. These results are especially significant as they occurred with inner city, poor, students who are generally highly stressed. This is where the need is great. Yoga practice may be a tremendous asset to these students in coping with the demands of the school environment. This should translate in future years into superior performance and eventual success in school.

 

So, improve adolescent mental health and school performance with yoga.

 

“Aside from the physical benefits of yoga, yoga teaches teens techniques for coping with the unique issues they’re faced with everyday—insecurity about their changing bodies, the enormous pressure to fit in, stressful schedules, and uncertainty about their beliefs and their futures.” – Erica Rodefer

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Frank, J.L., Kohler, K., Peal, A., Bose, B. Effectiveness of a School-Based Yoga Program on Adolescent Mental Health and School Performance: Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial. Mindfulness (2017) 8: 544. doi:10.1007/s12671-016-0628-3

 

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a yoga-based social-emotional wellness promotion program, Transformative Life Skills (TLS), on indicators of adolescent emotional distress, prosocial behavior, and school functioning. Participants included 159 students attending an inner-city school district who were randomly assigned to treatment or business-as-usual comparison conditions. Results suggested that students who participated in the TLS program demonstrated significant reductions on unexcused absences, detentions, and increases in school engagement. Significant concurrent improvements in primary engagement stress-coping strategies and secondary engagement stress-coping strategies were noted as well. Specifically, significant increases in student emotion regulation, positive thinking, and cognitive restructuring in response to stress were found. No effects were found for measures of somatization, suspensions, academic grades, or general affect. Student report of treatment acceptability indicated that the intervention was generally well-received and strategies were perceived as socially valid by most participants. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Improve Perception, Mood, and Motor Performance in Children with Mindfulness

Image result for mindfulness school children

Improve Perception, Mood, and Motor Performance in Children with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness is widely considered effective as a treatment for children and adolescents with aggression, ADHD, or anxiety.” – Lauren Cassani Davis

 

Childhood is a miraculous period during which the child is dynamically absorbing information from every aspect of its environment. This occurs almost without any intervention from the adults as the child appears to be programmed to learn. It is here that behaviors, knowledge, skills, and attitudes are developed that shape the individual. But, what is absorbed depends on the environment. If it is replete with speech, the child will learn speech, if it is replete with trauma, the child will learn fear, if it is replete with academic skills the child will learn these, and if it is replete with interactions with others, the child will learn social skills.

 

Elementary school is an environment that has a huge effect on development. It is also an excellent time to teach children the skills to adaptively negotiate its environment. Mindfulness training in school, at all levels has been shown to have very positive effects. These include academic, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. Importantly, mindfulness training in school appears to improve the student’s self-concept. It also improves attentional ability and reduces stress, which are keys to successful learning in school. Since, what occurs in these early years and in school can have such a profound, long-term effect on the child it is important to further study the impact of mindfulness training on the emotions, behavior, and learning skills of grammar school children.

 

In today’s Research News article “Enhancing Visual Perception and Motor Accuracy among School Children through a Mindfulness and Compassion Program.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5323376/

Tarrasch and colleagues explore the ability of mindfulness and compassion training to improve learning relevant skills and emotions in 4th and 5th grade school children. They recruited three schools to participate and assigned classes to either receive mindfulness and compassion training or to a wait-list control condition. Training occurred in 24 weekly, 45-minute meetings, over 7 months. “The sessions were divided into three modes: receiving care, developing self-care and extending care.” They included meditation practice and Loving Kindness Meditation. The children were measured before and after the 7-month training period for visual-motor integration, including visual perception and motor accuracy, anxiety, and mindfulness.

 

They found that, in comparison to the wait-list condition, the mindfulness and compassion training produced significant increases in visual perception, motor accuracy, and mindfulness and decreases in anxiety levels. They also found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the better the motor performance and the lower the anxiety levels. Hence, mindfulness and compassion training in elementary school produced tangible benefits for the children.

 

It should be noted that the wait-list control condition is a relatively weak control condition and these results need to be verified with a randomized controlled clinical trial including an active control condition. In addition, the mindfulness and compassion training was a complex program of many components and it cannot be concluded which ones or which combination of these components were responsible for the effects.

 

Nevertheless, these are exciting findings. Visual perception and motor accuracy have been shown to be predictive of better mathematical and reading ability, both essential to successful school performance. In addition, high anxiety levels have been shown to disrupt school performance, while high levels of mindfulness have been shown to improve school performance. Hence, all of the benefits produced by the mindfulness and compassion training are known to be associated with better achievement in school. Unfortunately, the study did not have a long-term follow-up to determine if improved school performance was a consequence of the benefits of mindfulness and compassion training.

 

So, improve perception, mood, and motor performance in children with mindfulness.

 

“I think that’s the reason that the students are latching on to this because when they’ve had a chance to stop, think, breathe and really kind of feel where they’re at, they know how much stress they’re under finally and now that they are aware of it, they can try to do something about it,” – Layne Millington

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

Tarrasch, R., Margalit-Shalom, L., & Berger, R. (2017). Enhancing Visual Perception and Motor Accuracy among School Children through a Mindfulness and Compassion Program. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 281. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00281

 

Abstract

The present study assessed the effects of the mindfulness/compassion cultivating program: “Call to Care-Israel” on the performance in visual perception (VP) and motor accuracy, as well as on anxiety levels and self-reported mindfulness among 4th and 5th grade students. One hundred and thirty-eight children participated in the program for 24 weekly sessions, while 78 children served as controls. Repeated measures ANOVA’s yielded significant interactions between time of measurement and group for VP, motor accuracy, reported mindfulness, and anxiety. Post hoc tests revealed significant improvements in the four aforementioned measures in the experimental group only. In addition, significant correlations were obtained between the improvement in motor accuracy and the reduction in anxiety and the increase in mindfulness. Since VP and motor accuracy are basic skills associated with quantifiable academic characteristics, such as reading and mathematical abilities, the results may suggest that mindfulness practice has the ability to improve academic achievements.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5323376/

Improve Children’s Academic Performance with Mindfulness

Improve Children’s Academic Performance with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness is having a real impact on our students and their ability to focus on the moment, whether in music, sports, exams or just dealing with the pressures of everyday life.” – Jeanette Richardson

 

Childhood is a wonderful time during which the child is dynamically absorbing information from every aspect of its environment. This occurs almost without any intervention from adults as the child appears to be programmed to learn. It is here that behaviors, knowledge, skills, and attitudes are developed that shape the individual. But, what is absorbed depends on the environment. Elementary school is an environment that has a huge effect on development. It is also an excellent time teach children the skills that will insure that the child has the ability to adaptively negotiate its environment.

 

Mindfulness training in school, at all levels has been shown to have very positive effects. These include the academic, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. Importantly, mindfulness training in school appears to improve the student’s self-concept, attention, and cognitive performance and lowers stress responses.  Since, what occurs in these early years and in school can have such a profound, long-term effect on the child it is important to further study the impact of mindfulness training on the academic performance of elementary school children.

 

In today’s Research News article “Enhancing Visual Perception and Motor Accuracy among School Children through a Mindfulness and Compassion Program.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at:

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00281/full?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Psychology-w9-2017

Tarrasch and colleagues recruited 4th and 5th grade students and assigned them to either a wait-list control condition or to receive mindfulness and compassion training in 24 weekly sessions of 45 minutes. Before and after the program the students were measured for visual performance, motor accuracy, visual-motor integration, anxiety, and mindfulness.

 

They found that the mindfulness and compassion training in comparison to the wait-list control resulted in significant improvements in visual performance, motor accuracy, and mindfulness, and significant reductions in anxiety. Since, motor accuracy and visual performances are fundamental to academic performance, these results suggest that mindfulness and compassion training strengthens abilities that underlie success in school. In addition, the reduction in anxiety levels, suggests that the training removes one of the impediments to academic performance. Finally, the improvement in mindfulness suggests that mindfulness and compassion training helps the students to become more aware of their present feelings and environment.

 

It is possible, but not examined, that the improvements in mindfulness are responsible for the improvements in motor accuracy and visual performance as real time attention to the task at hand is fundamental to performance of these skills and performance in school overall. Regardless, the results suggest that mindfulness and compassion training improves the students’ ability to thrive in school, improving both ability and emotional tone. The investment of 45 minutes once a week in mindfulness training appears to be well justified and possibly should be considered for inclusion in the standard school curriculum.

 

So, improve children’s academic performance with mindfulness.

 

“Studies find that youth benefit from learning mindfulness in terms of improved cognitive outcomes, social-emotional skills, and well being. In turn, such benefits may lead to long-term improvements in life. For example, social skills in kindergarten predict improved education, employment, crime, substance abuse and mental health outcomes in adulthood.” – Mindful Schools

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

Tarrasch R, Margalit-Shalom L and Berger R (2017) Enhancing Visual Perception and Motor Accuracy among School Children through a Mindfulness and Compassion Program. Front. Psychol. 8:281. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00281

 

The present study assessed the effects of the mindfulness/compassion cultivating program: “Call to Care-Israel” on the performance in visual perception (VP) and motor accuracy, as well as on anxiety levels and self-reported mindfulness among 4th and 5th grade students. One hundred and thirty-eight children participated in the program for 24 weekly sessions, while 78 children served as controls. Repeated measures ANOVA’s yielded significant interactions between time of measurement and group for VP, motor accuracy, reported mindfulness, and anxiety. Post hoc tests revealed significant improvements in the four aforementioned measures in the experimental group only. In addition, significant correlations were obtained between the improvement in motor accuracy and the reduction in anxiety and the increase in mindfulness. Since VP and motor accuracy are basic skills associated with quantifiable academic characteristics, such as reading and mathematical abilities, the results may suggest that mindfulness practice has the ability to improve academic achievements.

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00281/full?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Psychology-w9-2017

 

Improve Schoolchildren’s Thinking with Mindfulness

mindfulness-school2-wimmer

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“It may not be the typical way to start an English class, but Gonzalez’s students were familiar with these five-minute mindfulness exercises—from counting breaths and focusing on the sensations of breathing, to visualizing thoughts and feelings—that he uses to help train their attention, quiet their thoughts, and regulate their emotions.” – Lauren Cassani Davis

 

Childhood is a time of rapid learning and brain development. A key for the child is the development of the ability to focus, attentional ability. Children, in general, have relatively brief attention spans. In the modern world they are bombarded with a myriad of distractions, many of which require only brief moments of attention. For children to benefit maximally from learning opportunities, particularly in school, being able to focus attention is imperative. Mindfulness training in school, at all levels has been shown to have very positive effects. These include academic, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. Mindfulness practices, since they involve practicing attentional focus, have been shown, not surprisingly, to improve attention.

 

Since attentional ability is so crucial to children’s development, it is important to better understand what promotes its development and what methods can be implemented with children to improve it. In today’s Research News article “Cognitive Effects of Mindfulness Training: Results of a Pilot Study Based on a Theory Driven Approach.” See:

https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1318387964851793/?type=3&theater

or see summary below or view the full text of the study at:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940413/

Wimmer and colleagues randomly assigned German fifth grade school children to receive either a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program that was adapted for children, a concentration training program, or no treatment. MBSR is a complex mindfulness development program that contains practices in meditation, body scan, and yoga. Training occurred over 25 weeks with twice weekly sessions of one hour each. The children were assessed prior to and after treatment with measures of sustained attention, cognitive flexibility, cognitive inhibition, and data-driven information processing.

 

They found that the MBSR group showed less of a decrease in sustained attention (vigilance task) than the no treatment group over the 25 weeks. All three groups improved in cognitive flexibility, demonstrating improved ability to look at things in different ways. MBSR training produced a significant improvement in cognitive inhibition, the ability to screen out certain stimuli in order to better process others, and in data-driven information processing. Hence, MBSR training produced significant benefits for the children improving their attention and ability to screen out distractors. This latter finding is important as children at this age, in general, have great difficulty in restraining themselves from responding to irrelevant stimuli in the environment.

 

These preliminary results suggest that mindfulness training may be of benefit to children in developing attentional abilities that are crucial to school performance. Since the MBSR program is complex, it cannot be ascertained whether training in meditation, body scan, or yoga or some combination of these practices was the crucial component that led to improved attentional abilities. This was a pilot study. It clearly suggests that further, more intensive, study is warranted which may begin to clarify what are the crucial aspects of the training for the development of attention in children.

 

So, improve schoolchildren’s thinking with mindfulness.

 

Growing up as a child in East Harlem, where the poverty rate is extremely high, the asthma rate is extremely high and obesity rate is high — in addition to the complications our families deal with as a result of living in poverty — having a time to center yourself is important to allow our children to have access to learning.” – Eve Colavito

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts

 

Study Summary

Wimmer, L., Bellingrath, S., & von Stockhausen, L. (2016). Cognitive Effects of Mindfulness Training: Results of a Pilot Study Based on a Theory Driven Approach. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1037. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01037

 

Abstract

The present paper reports a pilot study which tested cognitive effects of mindfulness practice in a theory-driven approach. Thirty-four fifth graders received either a mindfulness training which was based on the mindfulness-based stress reduction approach (experimental group), a concentration training (active control group), or no treatment (passive control group). Based on the operational definition of mindfulness by Bishop et al. (2004), effects on sustained attention, cognitive flexibility, cognitive inhibition, and data-driven as opposed to schema-based information processing were predicted. These abilities were assessed in a pre-post design by means of a vigilance test, a reversible figures test, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, a Stroop test, a visual search task, and a recognition task of prototypical faces. Results suggest that the mindfulness training specifically improved cognitive inhibition and data-driven information processing.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940413/

 

Improve Children’s Attention in School with Mindfulness

Mindfulness school2 Crescentini

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Before we can teach a kid how to academically excel in school, we need to teach him how to have stillness, pay attention, stay on task, regulate, make good choices. We tell kids be quiet, calm yourself down, be still. We tell them all these things they need in the classroom, but we’re not teaching them how to do that.” – Jean-Gabrielle Larochette

 

Childhood is a miraculous period during which the child is dynamically absorbing information from every aspect of its environment. This occurs almost without any intervention from the adults as the child appears to be programmed to learn. It is here that behaviors, knowledge, skills, and attitudes are developed that shape the individual. But, what is absorbed depends on the environment. If it is replete with speech, the child will learn speech, if it is replete with trauma, the child will learn fear, if it is replete with academic skills the child will learn these, and if it is replete with interactions with others, the child will learn social skills.

 

Elementary school is an environment that has a huge effect on development. It is also an excellent time teach children the skills that will insure that the child has the ability to adaptively negotiate its environment. Mindfulness training in school, at all levels has been shown to have very positive effects. These include academic, cognitive, psychological, and social domains. Importantly, mindfulness training in school appears to improve the student’s self-concept.  Since, what occurs in these early years and in school can have such a profound, long-term effect on the child it is important to further study the impact of mindfulness training on the emotions, behavior, and self-concept of grammar school children.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Oriented Meditation for Primary School Children: Effects on Attention and Psychological Well-Being.” See:

https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1287962937894296/?type=3&theater

or below or view the full text of the study at:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4894866/

Crescentini and colleagues randomly assigned two 2nd grade classes of 7-8 year-old children to either receive mindful meditation training or emotion awareness training. The training occurred 3 days per week for 8 weeks. The periods were gradually increased in duration, from 10 minutes per day at the beginning of training to 30 minutes per day by the end of the 8-weeks. The mindful meditation training involved mindful breathing, mindfulness of body, and mindfulness of thoughts. The control condition of emotion awareness training occurred over similar time periods and consisted of reading and discussing a book on recognizing and experiencing emotions. Measures were taken before and after training from children’s self-reports of depression and by the evaluations of two teachers who not involved and blind to the training. The teachers rated the children on anxiety/depression, withdrawal/depression, somatic complaints, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, rule-breaking behavior, aggressive behavior, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems.

 

They found that both groups improved on their teacher ratings of total behavior problems and internalizing problems. The mindful meditation training also produced improvements in attention, restlessness/inattention, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder scores. The children’s depression self-reports did not differ from pre-test to post-test and between trainings. These results indicate that mindful meditation training improved attention and ADHD type problems, and reduced internalizing problems.

 

It is important that mindfulness meditation training improved attentional skills. These are absolutely essential to classroom education and suggest that the training may produce improvements in academic performance. Improvements in attention are not surprising as meditation is in general an attentional training. It is also important that the meditation training reduced internalizing problems. This is important for the child’s development of a positive self-image. By not internalizing the child does not interpret everything that happens as a result of their own thoughts and behaviors. This then allows the child to develop a more accurate depiction of what they affect and what they don’t, developing a more accurate self-concept.

 

It is interesting that meditation training can be effective in children this young. Starting early in life while the individual is learning, developing, changing, and growing may be particularly important as an appropriate stage is set for positive psychological, emotional, and behavioral development.

 

“Studies of mindfulness programs in schools have found that regular practice — even just a few minutes per day — improves student self-control and increases their classroom participation, respect for others, happiness, optimism, and self-acceptance levels. It can help reduce absenteeism and suspensions too.” –  Katrina Schwartz

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts

 

Study Summary

Crescentini, C., Capurso, V., Furlan, S., & Fabbro, F. (2016). Mindfulness-Oriented Meditation for Primary School Children: Effects on Attention and Psychological Well-Being. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 805. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00805

 

Abstract

Mindfulness-based interventions are increasingly being used as methods to promote psychological well-being of clinical and non-clinical adult populations. Much less is known, however, on the feasibility of these forms of mental training on healthy primary school students. Here, we tested the effects of a mindfulness-meditation training on a group of 16 healthy children within 7–8 years of age from an Italian primary school. An active control condition focused on emotion awareness was employed on a group of 15 age-matched healthy children from the same school. Both programs were delivered by the same instructors three times per week, for 8 total weeks. The same main teacher of the two classes did not participate in the trainings but she completed questionnaires aimed at giving comprehensive pre-post training evaluations of behavior, social, emotion, and attention regulation skills in the children. A children’s self-report measure of mood and depressive symptoms was also used. From the teacher’s reports we found a specific positive effect of the mindfulness-meditation training in reducing attention problems and also positive effects of both trainings in reducing children’s internalizing problems. However, subjectively, no child in either group reported less depressive symptoms after the trainings. The findings were interpreted as suggestive of a positive effect of mindfulness-meditation on several children’s psychological well-being dimensions and were also discussed in light of the discrepancy between teacher and children’s reports. More generally, the results were held to speak in favor of the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for healthy primary school children.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4894866/

Students AND Teachers Benefit from Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Beyond helping his students, Gonzalez also thinks mindfulness helps him to cope with the strains of teaching. He believes he now draws clearer lines in his relationships with students—giving them the skills to help themselves, rather than feeling that he needs to be the one to heal them—and copes more healthily with the trauma the job exposes him to, whether directly (in a previous teaching job, he said a student once stumbled into his office bleeding from a stab wound) or indirectly through working with a grieving student.” – Lauren Cassani Davis

 

Today’s schools are replete with stress, anxiety, and worry. Standardized, high stakes testing now dominates education in the U.S. This creates an environment in which both teachers and students are under pressure to perform well on the tests. Teachers, for the most part are confronted with large classes and in some areas, very unruly classes, creating even more stress on teachers. Students often have to confront bullies, creating fear while at school and parental pressure for grades. In this kind of environment, it is difficult to enjoy learning and function at a high level.

 

Mindfulness training has been applied to this environment in an attempt to help mitigate the stresses and make students and teachers happier and more productive. It has been shown to reduce stress and improve high level thinking and performance in schools from grammar schools to college. The research, however, has focused on either the students in school or the teachers and there has been no research investigating the consequences of simultaneous mindfulness training for both. In today’s Research News article “Students and Teachers Benefit from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in a School-Embedded Pilot Study.” See:

https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1261711913852732/?type=3&theater

or below or view the full text of the study at:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4845593/

Gouda and colleagues provided a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program separately to both the students and the teachers in the 11th grade during the first term of a single school in Germany. MBSR is an 8-week program with training in meditation, body scan, and yoga. Half the students and teachers were assigned to a wait-list control group that did not receive the MBSR training. Measurements were taken at the beginning and end of the school term and four months later of mindfulness, stress, anxiety, test anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, self-regulation, emotion regulation, interpersonal competences, openness, creativity, and work engagement.

 

They found that the students in the MBSR group had lower stress, anxiety, test anxiety, and interpersonal problems and higher levels of mindfulness, self-regulation, school-related self-efficacy, and emotional competencies. Many of these variables continued to improve and were even higher at follow up at the end of the second semester while the remaining variables held their gains.  Hence the students who received MBSR training significantly benefited, improving psychological and emotional competencies and decreasing stress and anxiety.

 

At the same time, the teachers also benefited. Gouda and colleagues found that the teachers who received the MBSR training had significantly improved levels of mindfulness, teacher-specific self-efficacy and emotion regulation and reduced levels of interpersonal problems. These benefits were still present at follow-up. Hence the teachers who received MBSR training significantly benefited, improving mindfulness and emotions and reducing interpersonal problems.

 

The study results are important in that they demonstrate that mindfulness training benefits both teachers and students in the same school at the same time. They did not have the appropriate comparisons to assess whether training teachers and students at the same time amplifies the positive effects for each. That’s an interesting question for future research. But, at least it is clear that there’s no interference produced. In addition, although academic achievement was not measured, all of the benefits of the mindfulness training would be expected to assist both the students and their teachers in being more effective both inside and outside of the classroom, improving their social behavior and mental health.

 

These results further strengthen the case for increased implementation of mindfulness programs in schools as both students and teachers benefit from mindfulness training.

 

“Before we can share mindfulness with our students we need an experiential understanding of mindfulness from our own practice. Once we begin to develop our own practice, we will see how it impacts our classroom and our relationships with others. Mindfulness offers a way to tap into the resilience that is already inside us.” – Meena Srinivasan

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts

 

Study Summary

Gouda, S., Luong, M. T., Schmidt, S., & Bauer, J. (2016). Students and Teachers Benefit from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in a School-Embedded Pilot Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 590. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00590

 

Abstract

Objective: There is a research gap in studies that evaluate the effectiveness of a school-embedded mindfulness-based intervention for both students and teachers. To address this gap, the present pilot study reviews relevant literature and investigates whether students and teachers who participate in separate Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses show improvements across a variety of psychological variables including areas of mental health and creativity.

Methods: The study applied a controlled waitlist design with three measurement points. A total of 29 students (n = 15 in the intervention and n = 14 in the waitlist group) and 29 teachers (n = 14 in the intervention and n = 15 in the waitlist group) completed questionnaires before and after the MBSR course. The intervention group was also assessed after a 4-month follow-up period.

Results: Relative to the control group, significant improvements in self-reported stress, self-regulation, school-specific self-efficacy and interpersonal problems were found among the students who participated in the MBSR course (p < 0.05, Cohens’ d ranges from 0.62 to 0.68). Medium effect sizes on mindfulness, anxiety and creativity indicate a realistic potential in those areas. By contrast, teachers in the intervention group showed significantly higher self-reported mindfulness levels and reduced interpersonal problems compared to the control group (p < 0.05, Cohens’ d = 0.66 and 0.42, respectively), with medium effect sizes on anxiety and emotion regulation.

Conclusion: The present findings contribute to a growing body of studies investigating mindfulness in schools by discussing the similarities and differences in the effects of MBSR on students and teachers as well as stressing the importance of investigating interpersonal effects.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4845593/