Abstract

The purpose of this work is to understand the potential impact of introducing mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices to the United States Public Education System. Broken into two main components, the first section of this work is a literary analysis. Relevant studies on mental health in children and adolescents are analyzed in order to understand the state of mental wellbeing among the sample group. Research studies on integrating mindfulness into institutions (public and private schools, children’s summer camps) are also evaluated in order to understand the applications of mindfulness practices in terms of children and adolescents. Overall, the research reveals significant benefits of integrating mindfulness into public institutions. Regular mindfulness practice can decrease the prevalence of depression and anxiety, lessen the effects of symptoms of ADHD, improve levels of self-esteem, and more for children and adolescents. The overwhelmingly positive results of mindfulness, as discovered through the literary analysis, inspire the second component of this work- a program proposal. The proposal, titled Stress Less: A Mindful Solution, provides a basic, feasible outline for integrating mindfulness into educational settings. It includes a program set-up, curriculum topics, evaluation methods, and more. Ultimately, this thesis argues that mindfulness meditation has the power to transform the culture and climate of American public education.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 12-12-2016

Mentor

Theresa Botts

Department/Professional Affiliation

Psychology

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Department

Family and Consumer Sciences

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