Implementation Reporting Recommendations for School-Based Mindfulness Programs

Rebecca N. Baelen, Laura F. Gould, Joshua C. Felver, Deborah L. Schussler, Mark T. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives: Research on school-based mindfulness programs (SBMPs) indicates promising, albeit mixed, effects. However, there has been a lack of consistency and completeness in implementation reporting, frustrating efforts to draw causal inferences about the implementation elements that influence program outcomes. To address these issues, we crafted a conceptual framework with an accompanying set of key terms for SBMP implementation elements to guide the development of flexible and practical implementation reporting recommendations for studies of SBMPs. Methods: To develop the framework and recommendations, we drew insights from the implementation science and school-based prevention literature, explored reporting standards across behavioral science fields, and examined reviews and studies of SBMPs that had an implementation focus. Results: The SBMP Implementation Framework (SBMP-IF) is organized by four broad categories (i.e., the program, participants, context, and implementation), which inform the reporting recommendations. The recommendations nudge researchers toward more complete and consistent reporting of school contextual factors, participant characteristics and responsiveness, and teacher training/competence. They also encourage researchers to explicitly identify and incorporate into their theories of change and measurement strategies the Hypothesized and/or Validated Core Components of the program, as well as the key elements of the Implementation Support System. Finally, the recommendations urge researchers to define and operationalize mindfulness in their theories of change and consider child development when implementing and studying SBMPs. Conclusions: The recommendations offered are novel for the field of SBMPs and represent a bold effort to strengthen the evidence base and help discern for whom SBMPs work best and under which conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-278
Number of pages24
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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