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


Carol W. Patrick

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Family and Consumer Sciences

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Applied Human Sciences

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Family and Consumer Sciences