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This article defines multispecies ethnography and links this scholarship to broader currents within academia, including in the biosciences, philosophy, political ecology, and animal welfare activism. The article is organized around a set of productive tensions identified in the review of the literature. It ends with a discussion of the “ethnographic” in multispecies ethnography, urging ethnographers to bring a “speculative wonder” to their mode of inquiry and writing.

Objective To examine the efficacy of an integrative yoga programme as adjuvant treatment of essential arterial hypertension. Methods An Integrative yoga programme was conducted during three months in 26 sessions with a group of ten essential arterial hypertension patients at a public health centre. The same number of patients acted as the control group without treatment. The patients were randomly selected and assigned to the groups. All patients filled in the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Smith Relaxation States Inventory 3 (SRSI3) before and after the treatment. Results A statistically significant reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, negative affect, symptoms of anxiety and degree of stress could be observed in the study group. Conclusions These positive and promising results confirm the effectiveness of these techniques in the treatment of essential arterial hypertension and suggest possible further investigations.

In the past years, the number of mindfulness‐based intervention and prevention programs has increased steadily. In order to achieve the intended program outcomes, program implementers need to understand the essential and indispensable components that define a program's success. This chapter describes the complex process of identifying the core components of a mindfulness and yoga program for urban early adolescents through the systematic study of fidelity of implementation of the intervention. The authors illustrate the CORE Process [(C) Conceptualize Core Components; (O) Operationalize and measure; (R) Run analyses and Review implementation findings; and (E) Enhance and refine], based on data gained from a mindfulness and yoga intervention study conducted as a community‐academic partnership in Baltimore city.

Importance Concerns exist about the current quality of undergraduate medical education and its effect on students’ well-being.Objective To identify best practices for undergraduate medical education learning environment interventions that are associated with improved emotional well-being of students. Data Sources Learning environment interventions were identified by searching the biomedical electronic databases Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and ERIC from database inception dates to October 2016. Studies examined any intervention designed to promote medical students’ emotional well-being in the setting of a US academic medical school, with an outcome defined as students’ reports of well-being as assessed by surveys, semistructured interviews, or other quantitative methods. Data Extraction and Synthesis Two investigators independently reviewed abstracts and full-text articles. Data were extracted into tables to summarize results. Study quality was assessed by the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERQSI), which has a possible range of 5 to 18; higher scores indicate higher design and methods quality and a score of 14 or higher indicates a high-quality study. Findings Twenty-eight articles including at least 8224 participants met eligibility criteria. Study designs included single-group cross-sectional or posttest only (n = 10), single-group pretest/posttest (n = 2), nonrandomized 2-group (n = 13), and randomized clinical trial (n = 3); 89.2% were conducted at a single site, and the mean MERSQI score for all studies was 10.3 (SD, 2.11; range, 5-13). Studies encompassed a variety of interventions, including those focused on pass/fail grading systems (n = 3; mean MERSQI score, 12.0), mental health programs (n = 4; mean MERSQI score, 11.9), mind-body skills programs (n = 7; mean MERSQI score, 11.3), curriculum structure (n = 3; mean MERSQI score, 9.5), multicomponent program reform (n = 5; mean MERSQI score, 9.4), wellness programs (n = 4; mean MERSQI score, 9.0), and advising/mentoring programs (n = 3; mean MERSQI score, 8.2). Conclusions and Relevance In this systematic review, limited evidence suggested that some specific learning environment interventions were associated with improved emotional well-being among medical students. However, the overall quality of the evidence was low, highlighting the need for high-quality medical education research.

Contemplative practices support transformative learning processes but can be difficult to identify in a higher education environment. Advocates of contemplative approaches to education see this void as a concern. When topics like these are ignored, especially when desired by students, staff, and faculty, the holistic, transformative, and deep learning needs of students are unfulfilled. Attention needs to be brought to the connections between contemplative practices and the pursuit of transformative education. In this qualitative study, 17 higher education professionals were asked how they integrate contemplative practices into their work and personal lives. In analyzing the data, three themes emerged, namely, awareness, integration, and interconnectedness. These themes, with accompanying stories, highlight the value and benefits of incorporating contemplative practices into a higher education setting. Using an inductive approach, suggestions for implementing practices were identified and are offered here.

Classroom management. Two words that can make or break a teacher, a student, or a school. The management of behavior and logistics in a classroom is, for many, the cornerstone of instruction. Veteran teachers can recall classroom management strategies that drew on rewards, punishments, combinations of the two, and a good healthy dose of fear from time to time. At Westminster Center School (WCS) in Westminster, Vermont, classroom management is about building a tone of decency and respect in order to create collaborative communities in which students feel safe and supported. At WCS, teachers face the universal challenges of teaching in the twenty-first century--increasing poverty, intense family dynamics, and an increasingly isolated social culture all of which can lead students to act out in the classroom. For them, the solution lies in the idea of presence. Being present is simply to have awareness in the moment of what is unfolding both within and around a person so that he or she can connect with it. Others say that "being present" is about focusing a person's attention on one thing at a time, and focusing fully on the person or task before a person rather than multitasking, doing many things with partial, fractured attention and intention. For WCS teachers and students, being present is the cornerstone of their learning experience, and there are several routes to that presence. In this article, the author discusses how mindfulness and yoga practices can be a route to "being present." (Contains 12 resources.)

Recently, there has been a surge of interest in employing contemplative teaching and learning practices in college classrooms. The authors define contemplative pedagogy as a teaching and learning experience that involves the learner in a participatory epistemology characterized by a deeply immersed, insightful learning experience fostered through carefully selected reflective practices that complement the learning assignment. Contemplative practices may be integrated into one's daily life in many ways. These practices may include sitting in silence; mindful walking in nature and man-made environments; meditation; contemplative prayer; yoga; and a variety of artistic forms of expression. The authors view pedagogy as the approach that considers both the professor's own philosophical orientation, as well as the selection of appropriate teaching and learning strategies to set up an in- and out-of-class context for learning to occur. Contemplative practices are the tools that foster a reflective, insightful dimension to the pedagogic experience. In this chapter, they describe their experience employing a contemplative, arts-based pedagogy known as the "cajita" project, a contemplative activity, which they have employed in their classrooms to help students become reflective, socially conscious scholar-practitioners in student affairs.

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most commonly known genetic disorder associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Overlapping features in these populations include gaze aversion, communication deficits, and social withdrawal. Although the association between FXS and ASD has been well documented at the behavioral level, the underlying neural mechanisms associated with the social/emotional deficits in these groups remain unclear. We collected functional brain images and eye-gaze fixations from 9 individuals with FXS and 14 individuals with idiopathic ASD, as well as 15 typically developing (TD) individuals, while they performed a facial-emotion discrimination task. The FXS group showed a similar yet less aberrant pattern of gaze fixations compared with the ASD group. The FXS group also showed fusiform gyrus (FG) hypoactivation compared with the TD control group. Activation in FG was strongly and positively associated with average eye fixation and negatively associated with ASD characteristics in the FXS group. The FXS group displayed significantly greater activation than both the TD control and ASD groups in the left hippocampus (HIPP), left superior temporal gyrus (STG), right insula (INS), and left postcentral gyrus (PCG). These group differences in brain activation are important as they suggest unique underlying face-processing neural circuitry in FXS versus idiopathic ASD, largely supporting the hypothesis that ASD characteristics in FXS and idiopathic ASD reflect partially divergent impairments at the neural level, at least in FXS individuals without a co-morbid diagnosis of ASD.
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PURPOSE: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a distressing consequence of cancer and its treatment. CRF impacts many young adult (YA) survivors of childhood cancer, compromising work, social relationships, and daily activities. No satisfactory treatment exists. This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility, safety, and preliminary efficacy of an 8-week twice/week Iyengar yoga (IY) intervention for treating persistent fatigue in YA survivors of childhood cancer.METHODS: Using a single-arm mixed-methods design, adult childhood cancer survivors aged between 18 and 39 years were recruited from a survivorship clinic at a single institution. Quantitative: The primary outcome was fatigue as measured by the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue. Secondary outcomes included vitality, social functioning, multidimensional fatigue, mood, and sleep. Weekly self-report monitoring data were collected. Qualitative: Participants also completed a post-intervention interview, major themes evaluated. RESULTS: Five participants enrolled into the study and four completed the intervention. Attendance was 92% and there were no adverse events. Baseline mobility was highly varied, with one YA having had a hemipelvectomy. Quantitative data revealed significantly improved fatigue, social functioning, somatization, and general and emotional manifestations of fatigue following yoga. Qualitative data cross validated, clarified, and expanded upon the quantitative findings. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that a brief IY intervention is safe for YA survivors of childhood cancer, even for those with physical disabilities. Preliminary efficacy was demonstrated for the primary outcome of fatigue. Qualitative data elucidated additional improvements, such as work-related social functioning, and a sense of calm and relaxation.

The practice of yoga in transnational contexts, from North America to Europe to India, has been linked with what has come to be known as the Green movement for environmentally sustainable living. Both this Green movement and the yoga practices that are being mobilized on its behalf are closely connected to the construction of a transnational cosmopolitan middle class that defines itself through particular understandings of health, well-being, and environmentalism. In this paper, we discuss the utility of yoga for both promoting an ecological worldview as well as for linking personal health and well-being with a broader understanding of planetary health; our analysis also highlights the current commercialization of both yoga and the more general health and ecology arenas. In order to do this, we provide both a discursive analysis of web and print media representations of these topics, and also explore the meanings of yoga through ethnographic data collected in a variety of locations between 1992 and 2010. These data were collected among yoga practitioners associated with the training initiated by three major figures in the history of twentieth century yoga, Swami Sivananda, T. Krishnamacharya, and Sri. K. Patabhi Jois. By combining ethnographic research with an examination of text and images, we explore how personal practice and planetary health are linked through the minds, bodies, discourses, and transcultural flows of the yoga world’s diverse members.

The practice of yoga in transnational contexts, from North America to Europe to India, has been linked with what has come to be known as the Green movement for environmentally sustainable living. Both this Green movement and the yoga practices that are being mobilized on its behalf are closely connected to the construction of a transnational cosmopolitan middle class that defines itself through particular understandings of health, well-being, and environmentalism. In this paper, we discuss the utility of yoga for both promoting an ecological worldview as well as for linking personal health and well-being with a broader understanding of planetary health; our analysis also highlights the current commercialization of both yoga and the more general health and ecology arenas. In order to do this, we provide both a discursive analysis of web and print media representations of these topics, and also explore the meanings of yoga through ethnographic data collected in a variety of locations between 1992 and 2010. These data were collected among yoga practitioners associated with the training initiated by three major figures in the history of twentieth century yoga, Swami Sivananda, T. Krishnamacharya, and Sri. K. Patabhi Jois. By combining ethnographic research with an examination of text and images, we explore how personal practice and planetary health are linked through the minds, bodies, discourses, and transcultural flows of the yoga world’s diverse members.

A contemplative approach to higher education is receiving increased attention and application in the classroom. Applying contemplative practices to administration, however, has received little attention in the literature. This case study offers a unique look at Naropa University and its implementation of contemplative administration. Findings indicate that incorporating contemplative practices into administrative life has benefits to faculty and staff members including an appreciation of being able to bring their personal lives into the workplace in a safe and supportive way and a strengthened commitment to the University's mission.

Online courses are gradually becoming a central aspect of education, from high schools to major university doctoral programs. As online courses are embraced to serve curriculum that focuses on spirituality and wisdom traditions, questions arise as to how the teacher can encourage contemplative online learning environments. This paper is an effort to outline ways in which the body, social isolation, identity and aesthetics in online education can be approached mindfully.

Assessment of social and emotional learning (SEL) in young children is critical to understanding developmental progress and informing care and instruction. The current study investigated the development of a behavior rating scale designed to measure SEL skills in preschool-age children. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the development of a new strength-based assessment prototype, the Social-Emotional Assets and Resiliency Scale for Preschool (SEARS-Pre). Items for the SEARS-Pre were developed based on a review of literature and existing measures and evaluated by a content validation panel of ten experts in the field. Following the content validation and revision process, local preschools were recruited to pilot the final SEARS-Pre measure. Eighteen instructors from three preschool programs in Oregon participated and completed a total of 94 SEARS-Pre rating forms for students in their classrooms. Results from an exploratory

Research Findings: In the past 20 years school districts have increasingly adopted classroom-based social and emotional development programs. The dissemination of these programs, however, has surpassed our understanding of and ability to assess factors that influence program implementation. The present study responded to this gap by developing a questionnaire that focuses on teacher perceptions of implementation support and teacher attitudes about social-emotional learning and by assessing its psychometric properties. One hundred forty-five Baltimore City Head Start preschool teachers completed the questionnaire. Factor analyses suggested 6 underlying constructs, which we termed administrative support, training, competence, program effectiveness, time constraints, and academic priority. Several of these scales predicted teacher reports of program implementation. Practice or Policy: The questionnaire holds significant promise as a tool for assessing readiness and barriers to social and emotional program implementation. (Contains 2 tables and 1 footnote.)

ABSTRACTTheory of mind describes the ability to engage in perspective-taking, infer mental states, and predict intentions, behavior, and actions in others. Theory of mind performance is associated with foundational cognitive and socioemotional skills, including verbal ability (receptive and expressive vocabulary), executive function (inhibitory control and working memory), and emotion knowledge. In a sample of 354 children from low-income households, theory of mind and foundational skills were directly assessed before and after kindergarten. Results indicate emotion knowledge, inhibitory control, and expressive language predicted improvement in theory of mind. Expressive language also served as a moderator such that children with low expressive language failed to improve in theory of mind regardless of initial theory of mind performance.

Discriminatory experiences are not only momentarily distressing, but can also increase risk for lasting physical and psychological problems. Specifically, significantly higher rates of depression and depressive symptoms are reported among people who are frequently the target of prejudice. Given the gravity of this problem, this research focuses on an individual difference, trait mindfulness, as a protective factor in the association between discrimination and depressive symptoms. In a community sample of 605 individuals, trait mindfulness dampens the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms. Additionally, mindfulness provides benefits above and beyond those of positive emotions. Trait mindfulness may thus operate as a protective individual difference for targets of discrimination.

Discriminatory experiences are not only momentarily distressing, but can also increase risk for lasting physical and psychological problems. Specifically, significantly higher rates of depression and depressive symptoms are reported among people who are frequently the target of prejudice. Given the gravity of this problem, this research focuses on an individual difference, trait mindfulness, as a protective factor in the association between discrimination and depressive symptoms. In a community sample of 605 individuals, trait mindfulness dampens the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms. Additionally, mindfulness provides benefits above and beyond those of positive emotions. Trait mindfulness may thus operate as a protective individual difference for targets of discrimination.

BackgroundWhile mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) employ two distinct practices, focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM), the integrated delivery of these practices in MBIs precludes understanding of their practice-specific effects or mechanisms of action. The purpose of this study is to isolate hypothesized active ingredients and practice-specific mechanistic target engagement by creating structurally equivalent interventions that differ only by the active ingredient (meditation practice) offered and to test whether the hypothesized components differentially engage the mechanistic targets that they are purported to engage. Methods Participants were intended to be representative of American meditators and had mild to severe affective disturbances. Measures of structural equivalence included participant-level (sample characteristics), treatment-level (program structure and duration, program materials, class size, attendance, homework compliance, etc.), and instructor-level variables (training, ratings and adherence/fidelity). Measures of differential validity included analysis of program materials and verification of differential mechanistic target engagement (cognitive and affective skills and beliefs about meditation acquired by participants after the 8-week training). Results The results indicate successful creation of structurally equivalent FA and OM programs that were matched on participant-level, treatment-level, and instructor-level variables. The interventions also differed as expected with respect to program materials as well as mechanistic targets engaged (skills and beliefs acquired). Conclusions These validated 8-week FA and OM training programs can be applied in future research to assess practice-specific effects of meditation.

The pain of rejection is a crucial component of normal social functioning; however, heightened sensitivity to rejection can be impairing in numerous ways. Mindfulness-based interventions have been effective with several populations characterized by elevated sensitivity to rejection; however, the relationship between mindfulness and rejection sensitivity has been largely unstudied. The present study examines associations between rejection sensitivity and multiple dimensions of dispositional mindfulness, with the hypothesis that a nonjudgmental orientation to inner experiences would be both associated with decreased rejection sensitivity and attenuate the impact of sensitivity to rejection on general negative affect. A cross-sectional sample of undergraduates (n = 451) completed self-report measures of rejection sensitivity, dispositional mindfulness, and trait-level negative affect. Significant zero-order correlations and independent effects were observed between most facets of dispositional mindfulness and rejection sensitivity, with nonjudging demonstrating the largest effects. As predicted, rejection sensitivity was associated with negative affectivity for people low in nonjudging (β = .27, t = 5.12, p < .001) but not for people high in nonjudging (β = .06, t = .99, p = .324). These findings provide preliminary support for mindfulness, specifically the nonjudging dimension, as a protective factor against rejection sensitivity and its effects on affect.

<p>Recent research has demonstrated that higher levels of mindfulness are associated with greater psychological and physical health. However, the majority of this research has been conducted with adults; research is only beginning to examine the effects of mindfulness among adolescents. Further, research into adolescent mindfulness has typically conceptualized mindfulness as a unidimensional phenomenon and has not yet examined multidimensional models of mindfulness that have emerged in the adult literature. Further, the mechanisms through which mindfulness influences these outcomes are presently unclear. The present study examined the effects of three facets of mindfulness among adolescents. Seventy-eight adolescents (61% female, 94% Caucasian, M age = 16) completed a measure of dispositional mindfulness at baseline. Participants then completed measures of daily stress, dysphoric affect, and state rumination over a 7-day period. Multilevel modeling analyses revealed that facets of mindfulness (i.e., nonreactivity and nonjudgment) were associated with lower levels of dysphoric mood. Mindfulness interacted with daily stress to predict later dysphoria; less mindful individuals were particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of stress. Finally, analyses demonstrated that the effect of the Mindfulness × Stress Moderation was significantly mediated by increases in daily rumination. These findings support the importance of mindfulness among adolescents and help to elucidate the mechanisms through which mindfulness influences psychological health.</p>

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