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A Case Study of a Yoga and Meditation Intervention in an Urban School: A Complex Web of Relationships and Resilience in the Search for Student Well-Being

  • Author(s): King, Sará
  • Advisor(s): Philip, Thomas M
  • Immordino-Yang, Mary Helen
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation is a case study of nine urban low-SES students of color who participated in a biopsychosocial classroom-based intervention called For Youth (FY). The rising prevalence of educational institutions in the U.S. utilizing interventions that combine yoga, meditation and/or mindfulness similar to FY, signals that these interventions need to be more closely evaluated and researched to determine their effectiveness. This study represents a compelling opportunity to take a closer look at what may be beneficial and/or problematic about yoga and meditation interventions for marginalized students, given the state of infancy of the research with regard to the effects of yoga and meditation practices on differentiated populations. Special attention is paid in this dissertation to discussing why researchers cannot disentangle the impact of the relationships that students have with the adult stakeholders who implement these interventions, from the effect of the practices of yoga, meditation and/or mindfulness themselves. The findings of this dissertation demonstrate that researchers and educators need to put a significant effort towards learning more about the complexities of how student well-being should be defined in the literature, especially for marginalized students, what students need to support their emotional resilience, whether yoga and meditation practices are suitable for students K-12, and if so, the best ways to implement these interventions in different school contexts.

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