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Evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for children and young people’s well-being is growing, particularly within educational settings. To date, very few studies have explored how children experience and apply mindfulness. This qualitative study investigated how children who received long-term mindfulness training applied mindfulness to their everyday lives. Year 6 Children (average age 11) were interviewed in three focus groups with their peers, in a semi-structured format, and the data was analysed using an inductive thematic analysis. The findings indicated that the children described mindfulness as assisting with their emotion regulation. Four themes were identified: (1) processes of emotion regulation (2) dysregulation prompt to apply mindfulness (3) challenges and strategies and (4) the conditions that support or hinder mindfulness use. These findings are discussed in the context of theories and evidence on emotion regulation, attachment, and mechanisms of mindfulness. Implications of these findings for future research of meditation-based approaches in schools, for example, self-compassion and kindness practices, are considered.


  • Mindfulness, Children, School-based, Emotion regulation, Thematic analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3935-3951
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number12
Early online date15 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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