Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Social-Emotional Learning Program CARE for Teachers Within Croatian Context



The initial results of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) designed for teachers have shown promise for promoting teachers’ social and emotional competencies, their health, and well-being. The present study examined the effectiveness of CARE for Teachers program outside the USA in the country of Croatia, Europe, through self-report assessment and collection of physiological data.


The sample included 54 teachers and other school personnel from public schools of which 25 were involved in the CARE for Teachers training. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures to assess mindfulness, burnout, self-compassion, and compassion. Non-ambulatory blood pressure and heart rate monitoring was also conducted.


At the post-test, intervention had significant positive effects on self-compassion (d = .35, p = .043), and two of its subscales, common humanity (d = .49, p = .043) and mindfulness (d = .66, p = .043). There were no significant effects at post-test on other self-report measures. At the follow-up, participants reported significantly higher levels of observing, self-compassion (self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness), and compassion, and significantly lower levels of over-identification and disengagement than those in the control group, with medium-to-large effect sizes ranging from 0.50 to 0.73. There were no effects of the intervention at follow-up on burnout measures. Regarding cardiovascular measures, at post-test, CARE participants showed significantly lower average heart rates (d = − .60, p = .020) than those in the control group. However, we found no significant intervention impacts on the blood pressure measures at post. The intervention impact showed no effect on the cardiovascular measures at follow-up.


The introduction of the mindfulness-based intervention to a group of educators in Croatia had positive impacts on several indicators of their well-being and cardiovascular health.

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Special appreciation is expressed to the teachers and school personnel who participated in the study and all colleagues and researchers who were involved in this study realization.


This study was funded by The Mind & Life Francisco J. Varela Research Grants (grant number: 2015-EVarela-Mihic, Josipa).

Author information




JM and MG contributed to the study conceptualization and design. JM collaborated in study conduction and introduction section preparation and prepared initial drafts of the methods, discussion and conclusion, and study limitations and future research recommendations sections. YO conducted the data analyses and wrote analysis and results section. YO, MG, and JM edited the final manuscript. VK collaborated in study conduction and preparing introduction section.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Josipa Mihić.

Ethics declarations

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Ethical Board of the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Written consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

CARE for Teachers training was conducted by Mark Greenberg’s partner, Christa Turksma, program creator. No other authors have any conflicts of interest.

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Mihić, J., Oh, Y., Greenberg, M. et al. Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Social-Emotional Learning Program CARE for Teachers Within Croatian Context. Mindfulness 11, 2206–2218 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01446-y

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  • Mindfulness-based intervention
  • Social-emotional learning
  • Self-compassion
  • Teachers
  • Cardiovascular health