The practice of mindfulness, which originated in ancient Buddhist philosophy, has gained popularity in secular society through the work of Western researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn. Kabat-Zinn's focus on using mindfulness to help chronically ill patients cope with stress soon expanded into non-clinical areas, including education. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) adapted from Kabat-Zinn’s work, have been utilized in schools since 2005, but there has been a lack of systematic research on the effectiveness of MBIs in classroom settings globally. To address this gap, this critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) study conducted a comprehensive literature review of quantitative and qualitative studies from around the world to examine the types of MBIs utilized in classroom settings and their effects on student outcomes. The review process provided a wide lens on current available literature related to the topic and further allowed for narrowing the focus to include 16 studies reporting specifically on the efficacy of MBIs on student learning, behavior, and emotional well-being, as reported worldwide. The study found that MBIs have a positive impact on these outcomes in school settings globally. However, it also highlights the need for more research on the lasting effects and sustainability of MBIs in schools globally and recommends including evaluators of different categories to improve the representativeness of the results.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Mindfulness (Psychology)—Students; Emotions--Students

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Eric R. Hamilton