Multilevel meta-analysis of school mindfulness-based intervention programs in Spain



Published 01-07-2023
María José Arenilla Villalba David Alarcón Rubio María Amapola Povedano Díaz


There are numerous studies whose results support the benefits of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in children and adolescents. Recent meta-analyses on the efficacy of these interventions in educational settings find significant improvements in cognitive and behavioral measures with effect sizes ranging from small to moderate. However, there are no meta-analyses evaluating the efficacy of MBIs in the Spanish educational setting. In this study, a systematic search of published articles and doctoral theses up to March 2022 was performed, including randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as an eligibility criterion. Eighteen studies with a total of 1471 participants were included in the three-level meta-analysis. The overall average effect size was significant (g = 0.62), and significant effect sizes were obtained for all dimensions except for the mindfulness skills dimension: personal and social development (g = 0.84); mood states (g = 0.44); cognitive functions (g = 0.67); emotional intelligence (g = 0.61); emotional and behavioral adjustment (g = 0.54); mindfulness skills (g = 0.51). The analysis of moderating variables has shown that all types of MBIs analyzed have significant effects, especially among older participants, and that doing home practice and increasing the duration in minutes of the sessions improves their effectiveness. The results are relevant for research and for the implementation of mindfulness-based intervention programs in educational centers.

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