The impact of a mindfulness based attentional skills training program on school related self-regulation skills of elementary school children
Monteiro, Marta P
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of an 8-session mindfulness-based attentional training program (MBAST) with children in third through sixth grade (n = 24) in an elementary school setting. The project examined (1) parental reports, (2) student self-perception of self-regulation skills, (3) student understanding of mindfulness skills, and (4) student performance on two standardized measures of attentional self-regulation. Students participated in groups (n = 5-7 per classroom) in a series of sessions involving mindfulness based exercises and computer mediated activities (i.e., video games) designed to challenge visual attention, memory, and decision-making in engaging and entertaining motivational contexts. Students completed the WISC IIII Coding and Symbol search subtasks at the end of each session. A multivariate analysis of variance repeated measures research design was used to evaluate the impact of training on possible improvements in attentional skills, as assessed by standardized measures of vigilance (speed process and accuracy of responses). The analysis also allowed for the comparison of a pre-program, self and parent reports of self-regulation skills over the eight sessions. While parent ratings and students’ self-reported scores of self-regulation difficulties and mindfulness skills remained stable, the results showed participating students realized a 40-50% increase in their performance on standardized measures of attentional skills. This study adds to emerging literature on the benefits of mindfulness based and brain training interventions that have been successfully applied to classroom settings. This program explores the benefit of an empirically validated intervention on children’s ability to direct and sustain their attention strategically in the context of self-reflection and application to goal orientated gaming environment. Mindfulness based attention regulation training can be utilized to enhance certain students’ capacities in a personal and academic manner.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY in COUNSELOR EDUCATION from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.