An Exploratory Study of Mindfulness Meditation for Alternative School Students: Perceived Benefits for Improving School Climate and Student Functioning
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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.
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