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Mindfulness in a school setting: considering youth who have experienced trauma

Covaleski, Kylea (2019) Mindfulness in a school setting: considering youth who have experienced trauma. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Background: Trauma is a common childhood experience, with two-thirds of children reporting at least one experience with trauma by the age of sixteen. Teachers often misidentify trauma symptoms as ADHD or behavioral problems within the classroom. At the same time, school-based Mindfulness interventions have increased in popularity in an attempt by school administrators to improve classroom behavior and student performance.
Purpose: Mindfulness is a longstanding practice with roots in the Buddhist religion. The practice is a way of living, to focus on the present moment in a non-judgmental way. The practice has been adapted for clinical use with both children and adults, due to the value seen by clinicians, to cope with challenging cognitions and behaviors. The purpose of this literature review is to synthesize information about childhood trauma, Mindfulness interventions, and implementation of school-based Mindfulness programs.
Methods: A literature review was conducted within the databases of ProQuest and MedLine. Results were restricted to peer-reviewed journal articles, full text, publications within the last ten years, school-age children (grade K-12 or age 6-18), typical school settings, and articles written in English. Boolean operations were applied to search for articles related to Mindfulness in the school setting.
Results: Fourteen articles were selected from the literature search after meeting the search criteria, including qualitative studies, mixed methods studies, program evaluations, literature reviews, and randomized controlled trials. Results indicated improvements in self-regulation, attention, concentration, rumination, and classroom behavior. Therefore, findings revealed Mindfulness to be effective in reducing behaviors of interest to teachers. Only one study considered childhood trauma as a potential reason for student behavioral and emotional problems in the classroom. Children with a history of trauma can experience discomfort and become retraumatized through improper Mindfulness practice. Given the increasing use of school-based Mindfulness programs and the prevalence of childhood trauma, these results have public health significance, revealing a gap in research. There is a need for research that considers childhood trauma when implementing school-based Mindfulness programs.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Covaleski, Kyleakjc59@pitt.edukjc59
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAlbert,
Committee MemberHawk,
Committee MemberGreco,
Date: 24 June 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 April 2019
Approval Date: 24 June 2019
Submission Date: 2 April 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 46
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Childhood trauma, behavioral problems, mindfulness interventions
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 14:44
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 14:44

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