Date of Award
The present study is a preliminary investigation assessing the associations between socioemotional adjustment and executive functioning problems in a low-income, high-risk sample of elementary students who participated in a mindful yoga practice. Mindfulness is a concept that encompasses attention within the present moment and requires acceptance and nonjudgment. Rather than being an outcome-reliant principle, it emphasizes the individual’s present state of mind and being (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). Recently, mindfulness has become a popular phenomenon in research. It has shown to be a highly effective coping strategy and mediator for cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems (Flook, 2010; Hayes & Feldman, 2004; Broderick & Metz, 2009; Mendelson et al., 2010). However, little research has been done to assess the role mindfulness plays in children. The objective for this study was to investigate the associations between contextual stress, mindfulness, executive functioning difficulties, emotion dysregulation, and aggression. Data for these variables was reported via self-report (n=21), parent-report, and teacher-report at one time towards the end of the yoga curriculum. Mindfulness was not associated with executive functioning or emotional dysregulation. However, parent and teacher reports did reveal significant links among more aggression, executive functioning difficulties, and emotion dysregulation. Discussion notes the limitations of the current study and recommendations for improving the study design to improve the study of positive interventions for children experiencing high-stress lifestyles.
Sacco, Victoria A., "Associations between Executive Functioning and Social Adjustment in Urban School Children Participating in a Mindful Yoga Practice" (2016). Senior Honors Theses. 74.