Mindfulness Meditation with High School Students who Receive Special Education Services: Research Recommendations from a Pilot Study

Ernest Solar, Ph.D.
Mount St. Mary's University

Abstract

Research has shown evidence that mindfulness-based meditation practices are effective treatment interventions for mental, emotional, and medical disabilities in the adult population.  There has been a limited number of research studies showing the effectiveness of meditation practices with high school students who receive special education services.  This randomized waitlist control pilot study was designed to assess the effect of mindfulness meditation practice with 10 secondary students who receive special education services.  The independent variable was a mindfulness meditation technique that was delivered as an afterschool program.  Analysis of the dependent variable measurement of perceived stress demonstrated a medium effect size with Cohen’s d = -.46 and a low effect size for anxiety with d = -.22 between the pretest and posttest measurements.  Lastly, the paper concludes with research recommendations when studying mindfulness meditation with high school students who receive special education services.  These recommendations include implementing a contemplative program versus a contemplative technique with ample interaction time exceeding 700 minutes and a group discussion for the participants to process their experiences related to mindfulness.

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