Cultivating Mindfulness in Students

Authored by: Tyler L. Renshaw , Meagan D. O’Malley

Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415621854
eBook ISBN: 9780203106525
Adobe ISBN: 9781136258398


 Download Chapter



Mindfulness is an ancient psychological construct that primarily originated with the teachings of the Buddha and the Eastern religious traditions that evolved from them. It was not until the 1970s that mindfulness moved out of the realm of religion and became a modern, applied psychological construct. This secularizing shift was spurred by the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn (1990) and his colleagues, who redefined mindfulness and repackaged it as the core construct in a stress-reduction intervention designed for inpatients experiencing severe pain—claiming that mindfulness “can be learned or practiced … without appealing to Oriental culture or Buddhist authority to enrich it or authenticate it” (p. 12). Since that time, Kabat-Zinn (1994) has redefined mindfulness several times, yet his most popular definition is a state of consciousness wherein one “pay[s] attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” (p. 4). Smalley and Winston (2010) have offered a similar definition of mindfulness as a state of conscious wherein one “observ[es] [one’s] physical, emotional, and mental experiences with deliberate, open, and curious attention” (p. 11). Moreover, Brown, Ryan, and Creswell (2007) have redefined it as having “receptive attention to and awareness of present events and experience” (p. 212). In an effort to consolidate and interpret the essence of these similar definitions, Renshaw (2012) has offered a unifying, common-core-components model of mindfulness, wherein the construct is conceptualized as a state of consciousness that is composed of three distinct subphenomena: attentive awareness, a receptive attitude, and intentionality.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.