Concerns about K-12 students' mental health and social, emotional, and ethical development have prompted some schools to implement programs designed to promote student well-being and healthy social and emotional functioning. Most of these programs are distinguished as social and emotional learning (SEL) programs and/or character education programs. Although there is growing empirical support for the potential of school-based mindfulness interventions to positively influence students' well-being, the number of school-based mindfulness studies is limited, and the majority of the investigations have focused on students' cognitive rather than affective capacities. Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM), a mindfulness- and compassion-based practice, is garnering recent attention as an effective intervention for positively affecting numerous factors related to well-being. For instance, research has demonstrated LKM's effectiveness in enhancing positive emotions, empathy, and social connectedness, and improving problem behaviors in adult populations. Although LKM is a component of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, and a number of mindfulness-based school programs are MBSR- adapted, to date LKM has not been studied with children or youth populations. With this in mind, the purpose of this active comparison trial investigation was to examine the effects of a loving-kindness meditation intervention on positive emotions, empathy, social connection, and problem behaviors in second- and third- grade students. Findings suggest LKM may be more appropriately used in school settings as a sequential part of a comprehensive mindfulness program and introduced after a solid mindfulness practice has been established.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Collins-McHugh, Doreen, "The Effects of a Loving-Kindness Meditation on Positive Emotions, Social Connectedness, and Problem Behaviors in Second and Third Grade Students." (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5178.