A Demonstration Study of the Quiet Time Transcendental Meditation Program

Oppedisano, V., Conti, G., Doyle, O. and Fearon, P. 2022. A Demonstration Study of the Quiet Time Transcendental Meditation Program. Frontiers in Psychology. 12 765158. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.765158

TitleA Demonstration Study of the Quiet Time Transcendental Meditation Program
TypeJournal article
AuthorsOppedisano, V., Conti, G., Doyle, O. and Fearon, P.
Abstract

This manuscript presents a demonstration study of Quiet Time (QT), a classroom-based Transcendental Meditation intervention. The aim of the study is to assess the feasibility of implementing and evaluating QT in two pilot settings in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This study contributes to the field by targeting middle childhood, testing efficiency in two settings operating under different educational systems, and including a large array of measures. First, teacher and pupil engagement with QT was assessed. Second, the feasibility of using a quasi-experimental design and a wide range of instruments to measure changes in pupil outcomes before and after the intervention was assessed. This allows us to obtain information about which instruments might be feasible to administer and most sensitive to change. The first setting included 89 students from a primary school in the United Kingdom: those in sixth grade received the QT intervention, while those in fifth grade practiced meditation using the Headspace application. The second setting included 100 fifth- and sixth-grade students from two schools in Ireland: one received the QT intervention, the other served as a control. Recruitment and retention rates were high in both settings, and the intervention was feasible and accepted by students, parents and teachers. Implementation fidelity was lower in the United Kingdom setting where delivery started later in the school year and the practice was affected by preparation for the Standard Assessment Tests. These results show that QT may be feasibly delivered in school settings, and suggest the use of a compact battery of tests to measure impact. We find suggestive evidence that the intervention affected executive function as children who practiced QT showed improved working memory in both settings. In the Irish setting, pupils in the QT group had improved ability to control responses. These results have implications for future studies by a) demonstrating that implementation fidelity is highly context dependent and b) providing suggestive evidence of the malleability of children’s skills in middle childhood. The results of this demonstration study will be used to inform a larger RCT of the QT intervention.

Keywordschildren
pre-adolescent
transcendental meditation (TM)
executive function
socio-emotional skills
Article number765158
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Journal citation12
ISSN1664-1078
Year2022
PublisherFrontiers
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.765158
Web address (URL)https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.765158/full
Publication dates
Published24 Jan 2022

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