International Journal of School and Educational Psychology, 2018, 159, 1-12.
The study examined how Grades 9-12 students responded to the 8-week Learning to Breathe (L2B) curriculum in an ethnically diverse school with the following a priori hypotheses: 1) students would show improvements in psychosocial resiliency; 2) demonstrate reductions in problem behaviors; and 3) have increased attendance and grades as a result of participating in the intervention. Because L2B is designed to be a universal prevention program and is easily integrated into secondary settings at the classroom level, it may have great utility for increasing students’ capacity to withstand the high levels of stress typically experienced during this developmental period. Forty students from two health classes were invited to participate. Of those 40, 29 students consented; however, due to sample attrition, only 11 students remained in the treatment and control conditions. Even though a pre-post, controlled randomized trial design was used, the small size and volunteer nature of the sample, indicates that we hold any study findings lightly. Significant differences between the intervention and control group post intervention occurred for the resilience measure only. Interestingly, resilience scores did not change over time in the treatment group, but the control group’s resilience scores lowered post intervention, suggesting that protective-stabilizing factors are enhanced by L2B exposure during the adolescent period.
This study adds to the growing literature on how school-based mindfulness programs may afford high school level students key solutions for maintaining their well-being.