Mindfulness-Based Intervention Implementation and Sustainability in Diverse School Contexts

Duration: 2020 - 2022
Funding: Spencer Foundation
Principal Investigator: Deborah Schussler
Co-Principal Investigator: Julia Mahfouz

4 smiling school kids standing side by side


Although mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have proliferated in school settings as a means to promote student flourishing, research remains in its infancy. Researchers have primarily focused on changes in student outcomes—psychological, cognitive, behavioral, and physical. However, little is known about school structures that enable or inhibit these outcomes for different students in diverse settings. The purpose of this interactive, collaborative conference is to explore implementation structures for MBIs in diverse school settings. 

We will convene practitioners and researchers from multiple disciplines studying or implementing MBIs in K-12 settings in different sociocultural and geographic contexts. The goals are to:

  1. Leverage and combine the knowledge and expertise of practitioners and multi-disciplinary researchers,
  2. Identify the core components of MBIs and the challenges and supports that enable or impede whole school implementation and sustainment, 
  3. Develop a conceptual paper articulating a theoretical framing of contextual supports impacting successful MBI implementation in K-12 schools, 
  4. Identify limitations in existing research and articulate a research agenda that outlines questions, methodologies, and contexts for further exploration, 
  5. Develop a website to assist researchers and practitioners seeking research and practical resources for implementing and sustaining MBIs in diverse school settings.

Central research questions: 

  1. What are the core components of effective mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs)?
  2. What are implementation challenges of whole school MBI implementation? (e.g., structural, financial, human resource-related, intangible)
  3. What supports successful whole school MBI implementation and sustainment? (e.g., structural, financial, human resource-related, intangible)
  4. What methodologies are used to study implementation efforts, including aspects related to implementation processes, intervention outcomes, and contextual nuances?

Project Team