Date of Conferral







Cheryl Keen


Adolescents navigate through escalating academic and social pressures while undergoing major physical and psychological changes. Concerned with behavioral, mental, and emotional challenges of youth, educators seek to expand approaches to promote learning success. Research founded in mindfulness theories has suggested that mindfulness positively and significantly correlates with psychological and physical health, work performance, decision-making ability, and emotional regulation, and may be a factor in learning. Two theoretical viewpoints on mindfulness, Western- and Eastern-based, formed the conceptual framework for this study, which aimed to examine associative relationships between mindfulness and academic achievement, and between mindfulness and affective outcomes for the general population of 14 to 18 year old students. A set of secondary data was composed of 34,375 responses derived from a nationwide survey on attitudes and behaviors of school-age children collected by Search Institute between 2011 and 2013. The data analyses consisted of descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations, and binary logistic regression analyses. The results showed that adolescent students whose attitudes and behaviors indicated mindfulness had greater likelihood to report earning high grades (p<.001), effect size small-to-medium, and greater likelihood to convey positive affective outcomes (p<.001), effect size medium-to-large. These findings provide a social change benefit to the community of scholars, educators, and youth service professionals by establishing the suitability of a mindfulness construct as a predictor of cognitive and affective learning outcomes in adolescence.