Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Interventions with Children and Adolescents with Disabilities: A Quantitative Literature Review

By Ernest Solar.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 18, 2016 $US5.00

Research has shown evidence that mindfulness-based meditation may be an effective treatment intervention for mental and emotional disabilities in the adult population. However, there are a limited number of quantitative research studies showing the effectiveness of mindfulness-based practices with adolescents with a high-incidence disability, such as an emotional disability and/or learning disability. The purpose of this literature review is to examine the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions with adolescents with a high-incidence disability. Based on a comprehensive review of twenty-one quantitative research studies, the findings suggest that an experimental research design, similar to the Biegel, Brown, Shapiro, and Schubert (2009) study, may be the most effective approach in demonstrating the usefulness of mindfulness-based programs or interventions in a school environment for adolescents with a high-incidence disability. An experimental research design would include comparison groups that are randomly assigned to intervention and control conditions and pretest-posttest measurements to evaluate the small changes in dependent variables—such as stress and anxiety— as affected by the independent variable of mindfulness (Creswell 2008; McMillian 2008; Gersten et al. 2005). Based on the twenty-one studies reviewed, the implications suggest that there is evidence to support that adolescents with high-incidence disabilities may benefit from mindfulness-based programs or techniques.

Keywords: Disability, Special Education, Identity

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 23, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.9-29. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 18, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 763.615KB)).

Dr. Ernest Solar

Assistant Professor, School of Education and Human Services, Mount St. Mary's University, Emmitsburg, Maryland, USA