Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a yoga and mindfulness intervention for school teachers

Matthew R. Ancona, Tamar Mendelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many public school teachers face formidable challenges, including overcrowded classrooms, limited administrative resources, and high numbers of students with behavioral and emotional problems. Mindfulness-based strategies are a potentially promising means of reducing teachers' stress and enhancing their ability to handle job demands effectively. This pilot randomized study assessed the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a 6-session yoga and mindfulness program for teachers developed by the Holistic Life Foundation, a local nonprofit organization. Seven urban public schools were randomly assigned either to receive the intervention or to a nointervention control condition. A volunteer sample of teachers within those schools participated in the study, with 21 teachers attending the intervention and 22 teachers in the control arm. Intervention feasibility was assessed by examining recruitment response and intervention attendance and by gathering qualitative feedback from intervention instructors and participants. Participants also completed self-report measures of stress and burnout at baseline and post-test to provide preliminary information about intervention effects. Findings suggest the intervention may be beneficial for some teachers, but our recruitment response also highlighted feasibility challenges. Recommendations are presented for enhancing program feasibility and for advancing research on the use of yoga and mindfulness with teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-170
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in School Mental Health Promotion
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Mindfulness
  • Stress
  • Teachers
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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