The Effectiveness of a Teacher-Delivered Mindfulness Curriculum on Adolescent Social-Emotional and Executive Functioning, Frank, J. , et al. in Mindfulness (2021) 12:1234-1251.
A control group consisted of two classroom teachers from different schools (6 classes) and 131 students where the district’s regular health curriculum was taught. All the students participated in a pre and post-test using indicator scales for adolescence social-emotional, mental health, substance abuse, and executive functioning.
The study revealed that students who reported practicing mindfulness more than once a month showed small to moderate improvements on “impulse control difficulties, social connectedness, mind-wandering, substance use, stress reduction, and self-compassion.” Thus, the more practice the better the effect. The ability to motivate students to practice more regularly remains the challenge. Providing encouragement and support of how mindfulness practices could be structured in students’ busy lives may help to increase practice and outcomes.
The results of the study also suggest that classroom teachers need to be regular practitioners of mindfulness themselves as they implement this curriculum. It is not enough to just receive the training. Support for teachers over a period of several years is key.