Abstract

This thesis delves into the benefits of self-compassion and of mindfulness and their place in the American school system. Mindfulness is an intentional, non-judgmental awareness of the present-moment experience (Broderick, 35) whereas are three specific components of self-compassion as defined by Dr. Kristin Neff. These three components are: 1) extending kindness and understanding to oneself rather than harsh self-criticism and judgment; 2) seeing one’s experiences as part of the larger human experience rather than as separating and isolating; and 3) holding one’s painful thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness rather than over-identifying with them (Neff, 224). There are a variety of benefits of cultivating self-compassion and mindfulness in the classroom such as; decreasing anxiety, increasing attention span, increasing mental fortitude, increasing resilience, and increasing self-worth. Mental illness are on the rise in our youth and we are seeing depression and anxiety at an all-time peak. As cited by Keyes, “nearly 1 in every 10 children has an episode of major depression before their 14th birthday” (Garrison, Schluchter, Schoenbach, & Kaplan, 1989). The U.S. Surgeon General (U.S. Public Health Service, 2000) reports that one in ten children suffers from a mental health condition that would meet diagnostic criteria. Keyes cites that the onset of mental illness, such as depression, is linked to declined behavior and a poorer quality of academic performance. This means that mental health needs to be a priority of our school systems. Therefore, we should implement mindfulness and self-compassionate based teachings.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-6-2017

Mentor

Carol W. Patrick

Department/Professional Affiliation

Family and Consumer Sciences

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Department

Family and Consumer Sciences

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