Methods: The study involved 224 teachers in 36 elementary schools in high poverty areas of New York City. Teachers were randomly assigned within schools to receive CARE or to a waitlist control group. Participating teachers completed self-report measures prior to the intervention in fall and then twice post-intervention, once during the spring of the same school year and once again in the fall of the following school year. During each assessment wave, teachers completed measures to assess well-being, efficacy, burnout, time pressure, mindfulness, and physical health. Teachers assigned to receive CARE participated in five 6-day workshops across the course of the school year. Three-level hierarchical linear growth models were employed to examine the effects of CARE on changes in teachers’ well-being and social-emotional competence over three points in time (pre, post, follow-up). Prior to fitting a linear growth model, assuming a constant rate of change from pre to post and from post to follow-up, preliminary data analyses were conducted to determine whether a linear trend could adequately describe the data. Empirical growth plots were examined to visualize how teacher outcomes changed over time. Then repeated-measures mixed models were estimated with time as a categorical within-subject factor to avoid the assumption of a linear form of change and allow for point-in-time comparisons. These preliminary analyses indicated that a linear functional form would be appropriate for describing changes in each outcome.
Results: At the third assessment point (9.5 months after participating in the program), CARE teachers showed continued significant decreases in psychological distress, reductions in ache-related physical distress, continued significant increases in emotion regulation, and continued marginally significant increases in mindfulness.
Conclusions: Findings indicate that teachers who participated in mindfulness-based professional development through CARE reported both sustained and new benefits regarding their well-being at a follow-up assessment almost one year post-intervention compared to teachers in the control condition. Implications for further research and policy will be discussed.