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Teaching Mindfulness to Middle School Students and Homeless Youth in School Classrooms
Viafora, D. P.,
Mathiesen, S. G.,
Unsworth, S. J.
Year Published: 2015
Journal of Child and Family Studies
As taught to youth, mindfulness is defined as paying attention with kindness and curiosity to what’s happening inside and around oneself. In this study, the authors evaluated the acceptability, generalizability, and overall effectiveness of an 8-week mindfulness course for middle school students and homeless youth. They used a quasi-experimental design with two treatment groups and a non-equivalent comparison group: (1) students in traditional classrooms (TG1; n = 28), (2) those attending a school serving homeless youth (TG2; n = 15), and (3) wait-listed students (n = 20). Overall, results suggest that students in both treatment groups benefited from the mindfulness course. Students in TG1 showed significant improvement in mindfulness and psychological acceptance, whereas those in TG2 reported greater applications of mindfulness in their daily lives and had more favorable responses on their participant evaluation questionnaires. There were no significant findings for psychological inflexibility or self-compassion in either group. Modified Author Abstract.