Effectiveness of a school-based mindfulness training on well-being and executive functioning in early adolescents
Schijndel, L.M. van
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While there are promising findings on the effect of mindfulness on a wide variety of measures in clinical and non-clinical samples of adults and in youth, there is still a lack of RCTs with follow-up measurements and a reasonably sized sample size that replicate existing school-based mindfulness interventions. This study investigated the .b programme, an existing 8-week MBI for early adolescents within a cluster (class-based) pseudo-randomised controlled design with repeated measurements within subjects (pre- and post-intervention, 9 week- and 6 month follow-up). To perform the training, an outside facilitator was employed. A range of outcome measures were used: mindfulness skills, resilience, attentional skills, prosocial behavior, social-emotional problems (hyperactivity, emotional-, conduct- and peer problems) and executive functions. No significant change over time was found on any of these outcome measures for the mindfulness or control group. These results resemble the findings of Johnson et al. (2016), but differ with earlier studies in secondary schools where significant improvements in the mindfulness group were found (Atkinson & Wade, 2015; Kuyken et al., 2013; Raes et al., 2014; Sibinga et al., 2013). Feedback score means on interest, amount learnt and likelihood of using techniques in the future in current study were lower to those reported in other studies. Limitations of this study are the use of only self-report data, the use of one outside facilitator with no feedback data on facilitator performance, the lack of an active control group and a large chunk of drop-out because of scheduling difficulties. Further research is recommended, taking into account these remarks.