WWC review of this study

Promoting prosocial behavior and self-regulatory skills in preschool children through a mindfulness-based kindness curriculum [Kindness Curriculum vs. business as usual]

Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., & Davidson, R. J. (2015). Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 44–51. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1049597

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    68
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: May 2022

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Self-regulation outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Delay of Gratification

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
62 students

1.58

1.50

No

--
More Outcomes

Flanker task

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
59 students

6.16

6.29

No

--

Dimensional change card sort task-All trials

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
56 students

5.64

5.84

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Dimensional change card sort task - Postswitch only

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
44 students

6.63

5.92

No

--

Delay of Gratification: 1 now vs 5 later

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
62 students

1.65

1.51

No

--

Delay of Gratification: 1 now vs 3 later

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
62 students

1.59

1.48

No

--

Delay of Gratification: 1 now vs 2 later

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
62 students

1.52

1.52

No

--
Social-Emotional Learning outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Teacher Social Competence

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
66 students

4.32

3.91

No

--
More Outcomes

Sharing Task

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
61 students

6.68

6.20

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Teacher Social Competence Scale Emotion Regulation subscale

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
66 students

4.18

3.91

No

--

Teacher Social Competence Scale Prosocial Behavior subscale

Kindness Curriculum vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
66 students

4.20

3.91

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 50%
    Male: 49%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
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    Midwest
  • Race
    Asian
    10%
    Black
    6%
    Other or unknown
    12%
    White
    59%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    12%

Setting

The study was conducted in public school district in a medium-sized Midwestern city. The authors recruited 7 preschool classrooms from 6 elementary schools.

Study sample

Students in the sample included 40 White (58.8%), 8 Hispanic (11.8%), 4 African American (5.9%), 7 Asian/Pacific Islander (10.3%), 8 “Other”/ mixed ethnicity children (11.8%), 34 girls (50.0%) and 33 boys (48.5%), with a mean age of 4.67 years (p. 45). The study authors reported parent’s education background, 49 (72.1%) were 4-year college graduates and 18 (26.5%) were not.

Intervention Group

The Kindness Curriculum intervention was designed to teach preschool children mindfulness. The mental training involves focusing attention and emotion regulation, with an emphasis on kindness. The training used children’s literature, music, and movement in instruction. The lessons were delivered by “experienced mindfulness instructors” as part of their standard classroom instruction during regular schools hours. Children received 2 lessons, 20–30 minutes each week over 12 weeks, for approximately 10 hours total of training. The training occurred during regular classroom instruction.

Comparison Group

While the authors note students were assigned to the “wait-list control” comparison condition, they do not provide any further description of what students did in the comparison classrooms.

Support for implementation

The authors note that the intervention was implemented by experienced mindfulness instructors.

 

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