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Support for the Development and Use of the Child Observation of Mindfulness Measure (C-OMM)

  • Matthew E. Lemberger-TrueloveEmail author
  • Kira J. Carbonneau
  • Almut K. Zieher
  • David J. Atencio



We describe the Child Observation of Mindfulness Measure (C-OMM), a new instrument designed to assess young children’s outward expressions of self-regulated attention and orientation to experience.


Twenty-three 3- to 4-year-old children were assessed using the C-OMM. Using Generalizability theory, differentiated variances were examined across three settings (free play, teacher-directed activities, and meals), five dimensions (three for self-regulated attention and two for orientation to experience), and two components (summary scores for self-regulated attention and orientation to experience). A follow-up decision study was conducted to identify the number of raters needed and the number of observations per child required to achieve acceptable reliability.


Results from the generalizability study indicate that the use of the C-OMM was moderately reliable (ϕ = .79 and .86, for self-regulated attention and orientation to experience, respectively) during teacher-directed activities only. The decision study indicated that future uses of the C-OMM require either a greater number of raters or a greater number of observations for acceptable reliability.


The C-OMM represents a more appropriate instrument for trained observers to assess children’s mindfulness related behaviors in certain educational settings given the limitations inherent to young children’s capacity to accurately self-report. Furthermore, as an observational measure of children’s mindfulness behaviors, the C-OMM might be more sensitive to multiple observations that therefore lends to the measurement of ongoing development over time.


Mindfulness Behavioral observation Childhood assessment Executive functioning 


Author Contributions

MELT designed the measure, designed and executed the study, and wrote the paper. KJC collaborated in designing the study, analyzed the data, and wrote the results. AKZ designed the measure, collaborated on designing and executing the study, assisted with analyses, and collaborated in writing the paper. DJA collaborated in designing the measure, collaborated in designing and executing the study, and collaborated in writing and editing of the final manuscript.


This study was funded by the Thornburg Foundation (grant number 10/8/15). This research was supported by a grant from the Thornburg Foundation in cooperation with the Dean of the College of Education at the University of New Mexico.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was reviewed and approved by the IRB at the University of New Mexico.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. In the case of adult participants, informed consent was procured directly. In the case of minors participating in the study, ascent (from the child) and consent (from the relevant guardian) was procured, as consistent with IRB approval.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling and Higher EducationUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA
  2. 2.Washington State UniversityPullmanUSA
  3. 3.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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