The effects of mind relaxation techniques on the behaviors of high school students with emotional disturbance

Students with emotional and/or behavioral disabilities have often been segregated into self-contained classrooms or separate educational facilities. Many studies have focused on positive behavior management and learning strategies for students with other types of disabilities, including specific learning disabilities and AD(H)D. Recent research suggests that teaching students self-management techniques, such as positive self-talk, relaxation, or meditation can calm disruptive behaviors, increase focus, and improve overall academic ability. This study focused on the implementation of a teacher-led mind relaxation technique for high school students at a school in Southern California specifically designed to serve students with Emotional Disturbance (ED). The purpose of the study was to determine whether the exercise performed three times per week would reduce the stressors students perceived in their academic environment and reduce the number of classroom disruptions due to inappropriate behavior. Over the course of the fourweek study, student-generated data showed student stress levels increased, while teacher-generated data showed an observed decrease in student stress. Many factors impeded the generalizing of the findings of the study, including participant mortality and changing classroom dynamics. KEYWORDS: emotional disturbance, meditation; mind relaxation, positive behavior management, self-regulation, student stress