Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1242–1246

Mindfulness Training and Classroom Behavior Among Lower-Income and Ethnic Minority Elementary School Children

Original Paper

Abstract

This field intervention trial evaluated the effect of a 5-week mindfulness-based curriculum on teacher-ratings of student classroom behavior at a Richmond, CA public elementary school, and examined if the addition of more sessions provided added benefit to student outcomes. Seventeen teachers reported on the classroom behaviors of 409 children (83 % enrolled in a California free lunch program and 95.7 % ethnic minority) in kindergarten through sixth grade at pre-intervention, immediate post-intervention, and 7 weeks post-intervention. Results showed that teachers reported improved classroom behavior of their students (i.e., paying attention, self-control, participation in activities, and caring/respect for others) that lasted up to 7 weeks post-intervention. Overall, improvements were not bolstered by the addition of extra sessions, with the exception of paying attention. The implications of this study are limited due to the lack of a mindfulness program-naïve control group, yet findings suggest that mindfulness training might benefit teacher-based perceptions of improved classroom behavior in a public elementary school, which has practice implications for improving the classroom learning environment for lower-income and ethnically-diverse children.

Keywords

Mindfulness Meditation Children Teachers Ethnically-diverse School-based 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Mindful SchoolsOaklandUSA

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