An exploration of a school-based programme of mindfulness exercises in relation to the social and emotional wellbeing of children
Mearns, Andrew Robert
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This two phase study explored the use of a school-based programme of mindfulness exercises (PME) in relation to the social and emotional wellbeing (SEW) of children in a middle school in South West England. The first phase of the research explored how children, school staff, and parents understand SEW. The second phase of the research explored the use of mindfulness exercises, their relation to children’s SEW, and the role of the Educational Psychologist in facilitating the PME. The research adopted a mixed methods pragmatic approach. In phase one data was collected via focus groups and analysed using a thematic approach. The second phase of the research involved a 30 session PME being delivered by two teachers to their respective tutor groups. Pre- and post-programme measures were taken using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Stirling Children’s Wellbeing Scale (SCWBS), followed by an evaluation questionnaire and interviews with key participants. The findings from phase two suggested potential benefits of mindfulness exercises for the children involved. Mindfulness exercises may play a role in the reduction of externalising and conduct problems in children which could lead to improved SEW. Evidence from teachers and fieldwork notes suggest that there may be a role for educational psychologists (EPs) in facilitating programmes such as the one in this study.
DEdPsy in Educational Child and Community Psychology.