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30-08-2016 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 2/2017

Mindfulness 2/2017

Results of a Mindfulness-Based Social-Emotional Learning Program on Portuguese Elementary Students and Teachers: a Quasi-Experimental Study

Mindfulness > Uitgave 2/2017
Joana Sampaio de Carvalho, Alexandra Marques Pinto, João Marôco


Recently, mindfulness-based social-emotional learning (SEL) approaches have been taught to children in some schools. Due to deficient methodological consistency observed in most studies, their results should be interpreted with caution. Moreover, research on how mindfulness-based SEL approaches benefit teachers is scarce, and the majority of these studies have been conducted in English-speaking countries; therefore, it is uncertain whether these approaches are suited to other cultural backgrounds. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of the MindUp curriculum, an SEL program through mindfulness practice for Portuguese students and teachers. Participants included 454 3rd and 4th grade students and 20 teachers from state schools. A quasi-experimental (pre- and post-test) study compared outcomes for an experimental group with a waitlist control group. Data were collected from teachers and children through self-report measures. Results showed that over 50 % of the children who participated in the MindUp program scored above the control group mean in their ability to regulate emotions, to experience more positive affect, and to be more self-compassionate, and over 50 % scored lower in negative affect. In the group of teachers, over 80 % scored above the control group mean in observing, in personal accomplishment, and in self-kindness. Our results contribute to the recent research on the potential added value of mindfulness practices to a SEL program and strengthen the importance for teachers and students of adding to the academic curriculum a SEL program through mindfulness practices.

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