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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Early adolescents' evaluations of MindUP : a universal mindfulness-based social and emotional learning program Maloney, Jacqueline Elizabeth


This exploratory study examined the evaluations of a mindfulness-based social and emotional learning program, MindUP, reported by 189 fourth to seventh grade students from eight classrooms across seven public elementary schools in a large urban school district in Western Canada. Qualitative and quantitative data from a written post-program participant satisfaction survey were examined in order to investigate the following questions: (1) What were students’ evaluations of the program? Specifically, what aspects did they like and/or dislike, and why would they recommend the program to a friend or not? (2) What skills and concepts did students report learning in the MindUP program? and (3) How did students extend what they learned beyond the program? Gender and grade differences among responses were also investigated. The vast majority of students reported that they enjoyed taking part in the MindUP program (88%), that they learned something new (96%), and that the things they learned were valuable for them in school and home life (95%). Most students would recommend the MindUP program to a friend (69%). Mindfulness activities were cited most often as the part of the program students enjoyed most, especially mindful sensing activities, such as mindful eating. Gaining skills for well-being and self-regulation were also frequently mentioned in response to open-ended questions. Although girls tended to provide higher ratings to survey questions in support of MindUP than boys, in most cases the differences were not statistically significant and effect sizes were small. Significant Grade by Gender interactions were observed in two items: Grade 4 and 5 girls reported learning more than grade 4 and 5 boys, and grade 6 and 7 girls were more likely to recommend the program to a friend than grade 6 and 7 boys. No other significant differences in grade were observed. In sum, most students were in favour of including mindfulness-based SEL in schools. The participant satisfactory survey that contain closed-ended and open-ended question was shown to provide reliable and valuable insights from students. Including similar surveys in future studies may be a time- and cost- efficient method of ensuring students’ voices are heard in program evaluations.

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