Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Strand , Charles


Students with mental health diagnosis, trauma or special education labels such as emotional behavioral disorder or learning disabilities often show signs of distress, and/or dysregulation in the classroom. They are referred to providers and evaluated based on the behaviors or symptoms that are presented. Many times, these behaviors impact their ability to learn, regulate emotions and function when compared to their typically developing peers. These students have developed maladaptive behaviors to cope with strong feelings. Within the last ten years, clinics, schools and districts have increased their attention and efforts to develop social emotional learning programs to teach students essential life, personal and coping skills. Often the first concepts or strategies when addressing negative behavior is improving the student’s self-awareness. Before a student is able to self-regulate, choose a skill or use a calming strategy, they must first be able to identify a change in their body, mind or feelings. Emerging research is beginning to show that mindfulness and meditation could be useful interventions when teaching self-awareness. Through mindfulness and meditation, students practice being conscious of their feelings. They may also learn skills that enable them to focus on thoughts and increase awareness to the present moment. The research summarized in this literature review seeks to determine the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions on adolescents or school/aged children. A variety of studies reviewed will determine if mindfulness improves student engagement, academic performance and negative behavior in the classroom.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis