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18-06-2018 | Original Paper

Preliminary Investigation of Whole-School Mindfulness in Education Programs and Children’s Mindfulness-Based Coping Strategies

Journal of Child and Family Studies
Nimrod Sheinman, Linor L. Hadar, Dalit Gafni, Michael Milman
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-018-1156-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Mindfulness is increasingly applied in schools, yet little is known about long-term whole-school approaches, in which mindfulness becomes integrated in the school’s curriculum. Among the possible benefits of such an approach is its influence on children’s coping strategies and their responses to everyday challenges. To examine this possibility, the study collected data from 646 students, 9–12 years old, from three Israeli public schools using mindfulness. One school had been implementing the whole school approach for 13 years, a second school for one year, and a third had no mindfulness implementation and thus served as a comparison. Data collection was based on a questionnaire asking students to openly describe how they coped in five challenging daily-life situations. The data were analyzed using qualitative thematic coding; then, the initial categories were coded into a quantitative mindfulness-based coping scoring system. The findings revealed a significant difference between schools with respect to students’ disposition to use mindfulness-based coping strategies (P < .001, R2 = .13). The regression model indicated that girls had a higher tendency to apply mindfulness-based strategies than boys, and 10-year-old children showed a greater disposition to apply mindfulness-based strategies than 9, 11 and 12-year-olds (P < .0001, R2 = .2). The study adds to the growing body of evidence pointing to the contribution of long term whole-school mindfulness-based programs to elementary school children.

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