Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Special Education, Early Childhood & Prevention Science

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction, PhD

Committee Chair

Landrum, Timothy

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Collins, Lauren

Committee Member

Collins, Lauren

Committee Member

Walte, Samantha

Committee Member

Whitney, Todd

Author's Keywords

mindfulness; classroom; trauma; social-emotional


Research into the prevalence of childhood trauma indicates that adverse experiences continue to negatively impact children and youth across the country. Current research is expanding the concept of trauma to include many children’s’ ongoing fear and worry surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and experiencing the death of grandparents or other family and community members due to the virus. Symptoms of trauma may manifest in the classroom as behaviors that are attention seeking, defiant, destructive, hyperactive, disruptive, or all of the above. One emerging practice for meeting the needs of children who have experienced trauma is blending classroom behavior management and academic instruction with skills that promote principles of mindfulness. The current study investigated the effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on general education students' self-reported mood states, frequency of disruptive behavior, and academic engagement. The current study utilized a single case experimental design. Two classroom groups differed in the frequency of prompting to engage in the Core Practice. Results of this study suggests that implementing the MindUp Curriculum with increased frequency of the Core Practice as a mindfulness-based intervention is effective in increasing students’ academic engagement. Results also suggest that implementing the MindUp Curriculum alone was effective in increasing students’ engagement and overall mood states. Results did not suggest an impact on disruptive behavior. Continued studies of this and similar interventions that target academic engagement and student mood states are critical to improving outcomes for students.