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Research Library
Publication

"Your Brain Becomes a Rainbow": Perceptions and Traits of 4th‑Graders in a School‑Based Mindfulness Intervention

Abstract

Although mindfulness, or the self-regulation of attention, has been found beneficial in reducing teacher stress and burnout and in increasing students’ cognitive and emotional regulatory skills, no study has explored students’ attitudes toward meditation practices in depth. This mixed-methods study reports results from a randomized, controlled trial of a 10-week mindfulness intervention in a public school setting with 28 4th-grade students from lower income and ethnic minority backgrounds. Over the course of the intervention, students were asked to respond to writing and drawing prompts about their feelings and attitudes toward mindfulness. At the end of the intervention, the experimental teacher rated students on how often they had practiced mindfulness breathing during class. Qualitative analysis of journal entries yielded personality traits of students who were receptive or resistant to mindfulness training. Practical strategies for identifying and remediating resistant students and for implementing mindfulness interventions in a school setting are discussed.