Date Approved

7-18-2019

Embargo Period

8-12-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Special Education

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Accardo, Amy

Second Advisor

Kuder, Sydney J.

Third Advisor

Shuff, Midge

Subject(s)

Mindfulness (Psychology); Learning disabled teenagers-Education

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

This study followed a single subject ABABAB design to examine the effects of mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) on the on-task engagement and the positive social interactions of high school students with disabilities. The seven students participating in this study attend a special services school and underwent the study in a basic skills math class. Baseline data was collected in week zero prior to the start of the study via a system of monitoring and checking for desired behavior; how often the students were on task, and how often they showed positive social behaviors. This baseline data was then used to examine the effects of the interventions on the students. Interventions took place in weeks one, three and five, of the total six week-long study. Throughout the course of weeks one, three, and five, students participated in 10-15 minutes of mindfulness-based activities: deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and/or light stretching. Students then began their classwork and lesson for the day, and were observed for ten minutes for signs of improvement in the desired areas.

The results of this study suggest that students with multiple disabilities may improve their on-task engagement and social interactions after practicing mindfulness-based interventions. Satisfaction surveys showed varied opinions, but the majority of students reported they liked the practice and were even observed practicing it on their own throughout the day.

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