Spring 2019

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Toxic stress is common in modern adolescence and can be detrimental to one's long-term physical and psychological well-being. Adolescents spend vast quantities of time at school and thus school is an ideal venue to introduce stress reducing mechanisms. Mindfulness interventions center on bringing non-judgemental awareness to one's breath and thoughts, and have proven beneficial in a wide range of clinical settings. It is only in the past two decades that mindfulness interventions have been researched in the K-12 classroom setting, but the results have been promising. This study examines whether participation in a tri-weekly five-minute guided meditation would reduce stress among high school freshmen. The research design for this study was quasi-experimental and included two non-equivalent groups taking a pretest and posttest comprised of the Students' Stress Rating Scale (SSRS; Balamurugan & Kumaran, 2008). Study participants were 51 general education high school freshmen. Analyses of the independent and paired t-tests showed a significant pretest to posttest change in the mean scores of the two groups, showing a significant decrease in stress in the treatment group, and an increase in stress for the control group. This study thus contributes to the growing body of research indicating that mindfulness practices reduce student stress. There is a need for further research and replication in order to make mindfulness in the classroom more mainstream, and to ensure that our students have access to research based practices that can improve their well-being.