The Inclusive Nature of Mindfulness-Based Practice: Does Executive Functioning Play a Role in Children's Mindful Experience?
Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
We examined the effects of a six-week mindfulness program in order to assess how executive function level played a role in students’ mindful experience. The effects of the mindfulness program were evaluated according to prospective outcomes across students’ level of executive function, in comparison to an active control group. Classrooms were randomly assigned to a mindfulness-based program or a health-based active control group. Pre- and early adolescent students in the 5th to 8th grade (N = 52) from two MindfulMe! program classrooms and two HealthyMe! program classrooms (active control group) completed self-reported pretest and post-test measures to assess mindful attention awareness, strengths and difficulties, anxious arousal, rumination, and optimism. A composite score was created from student, teacher, and parent reported BRIEF2 screening forms to determine students’ approximate level of executive function prior to the beginning of the program. Results indicated a significant decrease in rumination for students in the mindfulness-based intervention when compared to an active control. Our most notable finding is that executive function can predict an individual’s change score in total difficulties, mindful attention awareness, optimism, and anxious arousal, after participating in a mindfulness-based intervention. Mindfulness-based interventions appear to particularly benefit those with higher levels of executive function. Consideration should be given to whether tailored mindfulness programs are more beneficial, seeing as the current study establishes that mindfulness-based interventions are not one-size-fits-all.
Butterfield, Kaitlyn, "The Inclusive Nature of Mindfulness-Based Practice: Does Executive Functioning Play a Role in Children's Mindful Experience?" (2020). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 2308.