Effects of a tier 1 mindfulness-based intervention on behavioral risk in second grade students

This study examines the use of a mindfulness-based SEL intervention for reducing the at-risk social and emotional behaviors in second grade students while also accounting for student gender and ethnicity as factors that may influence at-risk behaviors and response to intervention. The teaching of mindfulness in the school setting—still in its early stages—fits within the scope of social and emotional learning (SEL) instruction. SEL is a process of developing and utilizing a wide range of skills needed for managing emotions, expressing empathy for others, maintaining positive relationships, and setting goals. Previous research has demonstrated that including SEL instruction in schools has benefits such as improving peer relationships and increasing academic achievement. The Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS) was used as the screening tool to determine students’ behavioral risk. Students that received the intervention experienced changes in both at-risk social and emotional behaviors that were significantly different from their control group peers. Both male and female students demonstrated similar changes over time in both types of behavior. Hispanic students and White students also showed similar changes over time in both types of behavior. Additionally, the intervention was similarly effective for students regardless of gender or ethnicity.