Mindfulness in Education

Low rates in self-reported wellbeing of children and adolescents in the UK are alarming (UNICEF, 2007). There is a need for broadly implementable preventive methods that improve self-regulation and stress coping skills in children and adolescents. Educational context provides powerful opportunities for broad introduction of well-being enhancing methods to the young population. Mindfulness is one of few psycho-social interventions with documented impact on well-being enhancement in the adults (e.g., Nyklíček & Kuijpers, 2008) and initial evidence supports similarly beneficial effects in children and adolescents. Not surprisingly, increasingly more school teachers are interested in bringing mindfulness-based methods into the classroom.

Research Interests

Mindfulness research and training development in the context of education strongly resonates with the intention of the CMRP to enhance well-being in the population. Specifically, we aim to develop and evaluate systemic mindfulness-based interventions which can be readily implemented into educational curricula and involve mindfulness training for teachers, pupils/students as well as parents. We are interested in providing rigorous evidence-base (combining health service research and neuroscience) to inform the development and implementation of mindfulness-based interventions in schools.

Current Research Projects

  • Development and evaluation of a mindfulness-based programme for primary schools with pilot research evaluations starting in January 2013
  • Pilot randomized controlled trial evaluating the impact of a mindfulness-based intervention in secondary schools on teacher and student well-being, academic performance and health-service use (Ph.D. project starting in October 2012)

Relevant publications involving Bangor University

Gold, E., Smith, A. Hopper, I., Herne, D., Tansey, G., & Hulland, C. (2010). Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for primary school teachers. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19, 184-189.

References

UNICEF. (2007). Child poverty in perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries. A comprehensive assessment of the lives and well-being of children and adolescents in the economically advanced nations. Innocenti Report Card 7. UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence.

Nyklíček, I. & Kuijpers, K. F. (2008). Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention on Psychological Well-being and Quality of Life: Is Increased Mindfulness Indeed the Mechanism? Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 35, 331-340.