The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Adolescents with High-Incidence Disabilities




Solar, II, Ernest L.

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Research has shown evidence that mindfulness-based meditation practices may be effective treatment interventions for mental, emotional, and medical disabilities in the adult population. There has been a limited number of research studies showing the effectiveness of meditation practices with secondary students who receive special education services. This randomized waitlist control study was designed to assess the effect of mindfulness meditation practice with 10 secondary students who receive special education services. The independent variable was a mindfulness meditation technique that was delivered as an afterschool program, twice a week, for 45 minutes per session. The duration of the intervention covered a ten-week period, with two, five-week intervention cycles, administered consecutively. The dependent variables of mindfulness, perceived stress, anxiety, and classroom behavior were assessed through pre, posttest, and follow-up measurements completed by the students and teachers. Only students in the treatment group completed the follow-up measurements. Students who attended seven of the ten meditation sessions were considered to have received the intervention, they were referred to as the Completers. Multivariate analysis of repeated-measures on the four dependent variable measurements of mindfulness, perceived stress, anxiety, and classroom behavior, indicated no statistically significant effect between the pretest and posttest scores. However, the effect size of the perceived stress and anxiety scores between the pretest and posttest measurements demonstrated a low to medium effect size with d = -.46 and d = -.22, respectively. Limitations included (a) the number of minutes the students experienced the mindfulness intervention (b) the use of journaling in place of group discussions.



Special education, Education, Emotional disability, High incidence disabilities, Meditation, Mindfulness, Secondary students, Special education