An Exploratory Study of Mindfulness Meditation for Alternative School Students: Perceived Benefits for Improving School Climate and Student Functioning
- 4.3k Downloads
This exploratory study examined the perceived benefits of mindfulness meditation (MM) for compensatory alternative high school students. An 8-week school-based MM program was provided to high school students (N = 35; 19 boys and 16 girls). Concept mapping, a mixed-method approach, was used to collect and analyze the data. This process yielded eight clusters representing the perceived benefits of meditation for students: improved stress management, enhanced self-awareness, enhanced emotional coping, enhanced ability to pay attention, improved state of mind, more time spent being calm, improved school climate, and enhanced student engagement. These clusters encompass three broad domains of perceived benefits for students including intrapersonal, psychosocial, and systemic benefits. Students rated the potential for meditation to relieve stress and to improve school climate as particularly important for them. These findings may be used when planning school-based meditation programs and may serve as a useful guide for researchers studying meditation practices for youth.
KeywordsMindfulness Meditation Alternative high school Student engagement Stress management
The author would like to offer special thanks to the alternative school students, administrator, and teachers, and to Drs. David Springer, Darlene Grant, Barbara Jones, Robin Russel, and Calvin Streeter for their invaluable support during the research project.
- Auerbach, C. F., & Silverstein, L. B. (2003). Qualitative data. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: a conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, 125–143.Google Scholar
- Beauchemin, J., Hutchins, T. L., & Patterson, F. (2008). Mindfulness meditation may lessen anxiety, promote social skills, and improve academic performance among adolescents with learning disabilities. Complementary Health Practice Review, 13; 34–45. Available from http://chp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/13/1/34.
- Bishop, S. R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N. D., Carmody, J., et al. (2004). Mindfulness: a proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11, 230–241.Google Scholar
- Concept Systems Incorporated. (2006). Facilitator training seminar manual. Ithaca, New York: Concept Systems.Google Scholar
- Coppola, F (2013). Transcendental meditation. http://www.trancenet.org/index2.shtml.
- Crane R.S., Kuyken, W., Williams, J. M. G., Hastings, R., Cooper, L., & Fennell, M.J.V. (2012), Competence in teaching mindfulness-based courses: concepts, development, and assessment, Mindfulness 3:1-76-84, DOI: 10.1007/s12671-011-0073-2.
- Dupper, D. R. (2006). Guides for designing and establishing alternative school programs for dropout prevention. In C. Franklin, M. B. Harris, & P. Allen-Meares (Eds.), The school services sourcebook: a guide for school-based professionals (pp. 413–421). NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Finn, J. D. (2006). The adult lives of at-risk students [electronic resource]: the role of attainment and engagement in high school–statistical analysis report. Available from http://nces.ed.gov.pubs2006/2006328.
- Germer, C. K., Siegel, R. D., & Fulton, P. R. (2005). Mindfulness and psychotherapy. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: an experiential approach to behavior change. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144–156.Google Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005). Coming to our senses: healing ourselves and the world through mindfulness. New York: Hyperion.Google Scholar
- Kane, M., & Trochim, W. M. (2007). Concept mapping for planning and evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Kruskal, J. B., & Wish, M. (1978). Multidimensional scaling. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Linehan, M. M., & Dimeff, L. (2001). Dialectical behavior therapy in a nutshell. The California Psychologist, 34, 10–13.Google Scholar
- Meiklejohn, J., Phillips, C., Freedman, M. L., Griffin, M. L., Biegel, G., Roach, A., et al. (2012). Integrating mindfulness training into K–12 education: fostering the resilience of teachers and students. Mindfulness, 1(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (October, 2007). Meditation for Health Purposes. Available from http://nccam.nih.gov/health /meditation/overview.htm.
- Neild, R. C., & Balfanz, R. (2006). The dimensions and characteristics of Philadelphia’s Dropout Crisis, 2000–2005. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Youth Transitions Collaborative. Available from http://www.csos.jhu/new/Neild_Balfanz_06.pdf.
- Ospina, M. B., Bond, K. B., Karkhaneh, M., Tjosvold, L., Vandemeer, B., Liang, Y., Klassen (2007). Meditation practices for health: state of the research. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 155. (Prepared by the University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-02-0023.) AHRQ Publication No. 07-E010. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.Google Scholar
- Raywid, M. A. (1995). Alternative schools: The state of the art. Educational Leadership, 72, 26–31.Google Scholar
- Rumberger, R., & Lim, S. (2008). Why students drop out of school: a review of 25 years of research. Santa Barbara: California Dropout Research Project, University of California, Santa Barbara. Available from http://cdrp.ucsb.edu/dropouts/pubs_reports.htm.
- Saltzman, A., & Goldin, P. (2008). Mindfulness based stress reduction for school-age children. In S. C. Hayes & L. A. Greco (Eds.), Acceptance and mindfulness interventions for children adolescents and families (pp. 139–161). Oakland, CA: Context Press/New Harbinger.Google Scholar
- Schoeberlein, D., & Koffler, T. (2005). Garrison Institute report: Contemplation and education: a survey of programs using contemplative techniques in K–12 educational settings: a mapping report. New York: Garrison Institute.Google Scholar
- Shapiro, D. H. (1984). Overview: clinical and physiological comparison of meditation with other self-control strategies. In D. H. Shapiro & R. N. Walsh (Eds.), Meditation: classic and contemporary perspectives (pp. 5–12). New York: Aldine.Google Scholar
- US Department of Education (2002). Public alternative schools and programs for students at risk of education failure. National Center for Education Statistics: Statistical Analysis Report, September 2002.Google Scholar