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Mindfulness in education : the impact of mental training on attention and working memory in children

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20987

Mindfulness in education : the impact of mental training on attention and working memory in children

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Title: Mindfulness in education : the impact of mental training on attention and working memory in children
Author: Keller, Julia
Advisor(s): Ruthruff, Eric
Committee Member(s): Smith, Bruce
Butler, Karin
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Psychology
Subject: mindfulness, attention, children
LC Subject(s): Attention in children.
Memory in children.
Short-term memory.
Executive functions (Neuropsychology)
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: Mindfulness (MF) is the self-regulation of attention, including sustained attention, switching attention between tasks, and the inhibition of elaborative processing. Another type of attentional skill not specifically targeted in this definition, but that might benefit from MF training, is control over working memory (WM), a type of executive attention: the ability to use attention to maintain or suppress short-term representations of information. Greater WM capacity also means an increased ability to use attention to overcome distraction and is predictive of performance on higher-order cognitive tasks. In this study, I hypothesized that, after eleven weeks of MF training, participants would have improved scores in attention and WM, compared to a control group. Eight elementary classrooms from an urban Title I school in the southwestern United States participated. Four classroom teachers were trained on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and on teaching MF practices in their classrooms. Four teachers were assigned as control classrooms. Pre-, middle- and post-measures were collected from students on attention and WM span. Results tentatively indicate that MF improves attention switching, divided attention, and WM processing.
Graduation Date: July 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20987


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