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Practicing Transcendental Meditation in High Schools: Relationship to Well-being and Academic Achievement Among Students

Abstract

The Quiet Time program provides a 15-min period at the beginning and end of the school day where students may practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) or another quiet activity such as reading silently to oneself. This study examined the impact of participating in Quiet Time on ninth-grade students (n = 141) by comparing their outcomes to those of a group of ninth-grade students (n = 53) attending a school that did not participate in Quiet Time. Students in both groups completed an assessment battery in early October 2012, shortly after which treatment students learned TM, and again in May 2013. Analysis of covariance was used to analyze the differences between the treatment and comparison groups. Results indicated that students who participated in Quiet Time scored significantly lower on anxiety (p < 0.05) and higher on resilience (p < 0.05) at follow-up than comparison group students. Within the treatment group, students who spent more time meditating also had higher resilience scores and higher instruction time. After participating in Quiet Time, students self-reported increases in their sleep, happiness, and self-confidence.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Metta Fund, 1440 Foundation, and David Lynch Foundation. The authors thank Noah Schechtman, Laura Osborne, and Jamie Bowers for their help in the study. Transcendental Meditation® and TM are service marks registered in the US trademark and patent office, licensed to Maharishi Foundation and used under sublicense.

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Correspondence to Staci Wendt.

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Wendt, S., Hipps, J., Abrams, A. et al. Practicing Transcendental Meditation in High Schools: Relationship to Well-being and Academic Achievement Among Students. Contemp School Psychol 19, 312–319 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-015-0066-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-015-0066-6

Keywords

  • Quiet Time
  • Transcendental Meditation
  • Psychological well-being
  • Academic achievement
  • Anxiety