Research

Dynamic Mindfulness Research

For more than 10 years the Niroga Institute has been bringing Transformative Life Skills training to schools. From the beginning, we’ve understood the importance of program evaluations and research for the effectiveness of our programs.

Independent researchers in educational psychology, neurobiology, social welfare and youth development are investigating the impact of Niroga’s Dynamic Mindfulness programs on vulnerable youth. Many research studies support this powerful approach to improving school climate and students’ well-being. Those studies are what we use as the framework for the Dynamic Mindfulness courses.

This research is led by Niroga Institute Research Director Jennifer Frank, PhD, who is Assistant Professor of Special Education and School Psychology and Research Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania State University Prevention Research Center (PRC).

Dr. Frank’s report on a randomized control trial of in-class TLS in a challenging urban school found that students showed lower levels of perceived stress and greater levels of self-control, school engagement, emotional awareness, distress tolerance and altered attitude towards violence.

We also know that the practices of Dynamic Mindfulness help teachers as well as their students. The University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education found that mindfulness stress management practices can improve a teacher’s social and emotional well-being, which can lead to improved classroom climate and student engagement.

“Teachers who are able to reduce the level of stress they are experiencing have an improved ability to recognize a student’s perspective and how their own judgments or biases are impacting their reaction to a student,” Jennings said. “The findings definitely suggest that mindfulness-based interventions can have ‘downstream’ effects on the classroom environment and on the students.

Our Research

Supportive Research

There are four major components that Transformative Life Skills uses to enable Social Emotional Learning in a cognitive and experiential way. The following lists highlight the studies and articles that have helped to create a sound framework for our approach to Dynamic Mindfulness.

Effect of yoga on academic performance in relation to stress. (Kauts, A and Sharma, N, International Journal of Yoga, 2009)

Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a school-based mindfulness intervention for urban youth. (Mendelson, T, Greenberg, MT, Dariotis JK, Gould, LF, Rhoades, BL and Leaf, PJ, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 2010)

Evaluation of the mental health benefits of yoga in a secondary school: a preliminary randomized control trial. (Khalsa, SB, Hickey-Schulz, L, Cohen, D, Steiner, N and Cope, S, Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 2012)

Additional keywords: increased academic performance, reduce negative stress response, help students adapt and cope, enhance resilience

Qualitative evaluation of a high school yoga program: feasibility and perceived benefits (Conboy, LA, Noggle, JJ, Frey, JL, Kudesia, RS, and Khalsa, SB, Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 2013)

The impact of mindfulness education on elementary school students: evaluation of the Master Mind program (Parker, A, Kuperscmidt, J, Mathis, E, Scull, T, and Sims, C, Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 2014)

Behavioral and Psychophysiological Effects of a Yoga Intervention on High-Risk Adolescents: A Randomized Control Trial (Fishbein, D, et al., Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2015)

Additional Keywords: opportunities for reflection, patience and insight, reducing hostility and reactivity, positive classroom climate

High Self-Control Predicts Good Adjustment, Less Pathology, Better Grades and Interpersonal Success (Tangney, J, Baumeister, R, and Boone, A, Journal of Personality,2004)

Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents(Duckworth, A and Seligman, M, Psychological Studies, 2005)

A school based mindfulness intervention for urban youth: exploring moderators of intervention effects (Gould, L, Dariotis, J, Mendelson, T and Greenberg, M, Journal of Community Psychology, 2012)

Integrating Mindfulness Training into K-12 Education: Fostering the Resilience of Teachers and Students (Meiklejohn, J, Freedman, M, Roach, A, Pinger, L, Sibinga, E, Mindfulness, 2012)

Effects of a Classroom-Based Yoga  Intervention on Cortisol and Behavior in Second- and Third-Grade Students: A Pilot Study (Butzer, B, et al., Journal of Evidenced Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014)

Yoga in public school improves adolescent mood and affect (Felver, J, Butzer, B, Olson, K, Smith, I, and Khalsa, S, Contemporary School Psychology, 2014)

Yoga and Emotion Regulation in High School Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial(Daly, LA, Haden, SC, Hagins, M, Papouchis, N, and Ramirez, PM, Journal of Evidenced Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015)

Fostering Self-Regulation Through Curriculum Infusion of Mindful Yoga: A Pilot Study of Efficacy and Feasibility (Bergen, Cico, D, Razza, R, and Timmins, A, Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2015)

Impact of Yogic Practices on some Psychological variables among Adolescents (Dubey, S,Indian Journal of Community Psychology, 2011)

Yoga improves attention and self-esteem in underprivileged girl student (Sethi, J, Nagendra, H.R, Ganpat, T, Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 2013)

Not a Waste of Time: Scheduling Non-academic Learning Activities into the School Day(Finnan, C, The Urban Review, 2015)

Additional Keywords: encourages community in classroom, positive school climate, respect for self and others, improves confidence, increase self-esteem