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

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.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the Trust for the Meditation Process for their support of this work.

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Correspondence to David S. Black.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 2.

Table 2 Mindful schools K-5 grade curriculum outline

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Black, D.S., Fernando, R. Mindfulness Training and Classroom Behavior Among Lower-Income and Ethnic Minority Elementary School Children. J Child Fam Stud 23, 1242–1246 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-013-9784-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-013-9784-4

Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Children
  • Teachers
  • Ethnically-diverse
  • School-based