Master of Arts
The importance of early intervention using social-emotional learning (SEL) programs is well documented, although less is known about mindfulness informed SEL programs such as MindUP™. Previously, research on MindUP™ has been limited to samples with older children and examining the universal effects, not considering individual characteristics. The present study explored changes in young children’s behaviours, as well as possible subgroup effects based on participant characteristics following MindUP’s™ implementation. MindUP™ was delivered to 285 children in 15-junior/senior kindergarten classrooms across eight high needs schools in a Southwestern Ontario school board. The present study used a subset of those data (N= 159). Educators completed a pre and post-test of the Behavior Assessment Scale for Children (third edition) measuring children’s internalizing behaviours externalizing behaviours and resiliency. Findings indicated positive changes in children’s behaviours including a significant increase in resiliency and decrease in internalizing behaviours. Resiliency outcomes were moderated by degree of behavioural symptoms such that children who displayed at-risk/clinical levels of internalizing behaviours showed significantly greater increases in resiliency than those with lower levels of internalizing behaviours. Unexpectedly, there was no change in children’s externalizing behaviours, as well as no moderation of outcomes by grade or gender. The current study provided unique contributions to the literature on MindUP™ through using a younger sample and examining clinical subgroups. Moreover, this study offers a starting point for more rigorous evaluation of MindUP™ and its impact on the wellbeing of children.
Off, Nicole, "Exploring a mindfulness-informed social emotional learning program in kindergarten classrooms: The moderating role of participant characteristics on behavioural outcomes" (2018). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 5271.