Impact of MindUP Among Young Children: Improvements in Behavioral Problems, Adaptive Skills, and Executive Functioning
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Objectives: We evaluated the impacts of a mindfulness-based social and emotional learning (SEL) program on behavioral problems, adaptive skills, and executive functioning among kindergarten students. Methods: A total of 23 classrooms were assigned to the intervention group, in which the teachers implemented MindUP, and 19 classrooms were assigned to the comparison group, in which the teachers delivered their classes as usual. Teachers assessed the behavior of students (N = 584; intervention n = 261; comparison n = 323) both pre- and post-intervention with two measures: the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Third Edition, Teacher Rating Scales (BASC-3 TRS) and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool and Child Version (BRIEF-P; BRIEF-2). Results: Students who received the intervention demonstrated an improvement in adaptive skills and reduction in behavioral symptoms, internalizing composite, and externalizing composite outcomes. Additionally, there was a significant decrease in executive functioning deficits among students who participated in MindUP. There were no gender differences regarding changes in any of the five study outcomes. Conclusions: The study suggests that mindfulness-based SEL intervention can improve psychosocial and behavioral outcomes in young children.