School-based mindfulness interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing mental health symptoms. However, comparatively little research has investigated the acceptability of these programs from the perspective of the children. Program acceptability underpins engagement, and more engaging programs are also more efficacious (Cowan & Sheridan, 2003; Mautone et al., 2009) yet there is little literature which has considered the acceptability of school-based mindfulness programs. To address this gap, semi-structured interviews were conducted with upper primary aged children (N = 30) who had participated in a six week mindfulness program in four Australian primary schools. Thematic analysis of interviews revealed children found the program to be acceptable. Children reported that they enjoyed doing the mindfulness program, would recommend it to others, and learned about relaxing as well as felt relaxed while doing the program. Children also highlighted the use of culturally appropriate teaching materials and possible stigmatisation as threats to the acceptability of the program. The results of the study support the acceptability of mindfulness programs in school settings, grounded in the unique perspective of the child.
- Child's voice