The effect of mindfulness-based techniques in Irish primary schools

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Morgan, Laura
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this research was to study the effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on levels of perceived stress and mindfulness in teachers, and on social anxiety levels, and behavioural and emotional control in children. Two matched primary schools took part in the study. Teachers and pupils in School A had been trained in mindfulness and used mindfulness techniques throughout the day, every day, while teachers in School B did not. Results showed that teachers in School A reported significantly higher levels of mindfulness than teachers in school B (as measured by the MAAS). Although there was no significant difference in levels of stress reported by teachers in each school, there was a strong negative correlation between stress and mindfulness scores with higher mindfulness scores associated with lower levels of perceived stress (as measures by the PSS). Results showed a significant difference in overall behaviour and emotional control scores (as measured by the BERS), specifically in the subscales of intrapersonal and affective strength scores of children in junior infants, with those practicing mindfulness scoring higher than those that did not. A significant difference was also found in affective strength scores of children in first class and interpersonal strength scores of children in second class. Those children that practice mindfulness every day (School A) reported lower levels of social anxiety (as measured by the SASC-R) than their counterparts in School B. No statistical significances were reported within the subscales. Author keywords: Mindfulness, stress reduction