Individual, Family, and Community Education ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 5-11-2019


Mindfulness trainings, which tend to include daily home meditation practice, have been found to improve in- and pre-service teachers well-being, but findings indicate that participants struggle to complete the recommended home meditation practice. A mindfulness training based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills may be a more feasible training format for teachers because the home practice is informal and easily integrated into daily life. DBT skills are also discrete and easy-to-understand and directly relate to the intrapersonal and interpersonal challenges teachers face. Although DBT skills-based trainings have been used with non-clinical populations, to date no study has been identified exploring the use of DBT skills training with teachers generally or pre-service teachers specifically. This dissertation reports the findings of a study of a DBT skills-based training with pre-service teachers to improve their mindfulness and well-being. This study spanned 81 days and used a multiple-baseline single-case experimental design with longitudinal daily diary data from 11 participants. Qualitative homework data, facilitator reflections, and post-training interviews with four participants provided supplementary qualitative data. Quantitative findings indicate that the DBT skills training resulted in higher levels of mindfulness and positive affect the evening after participants attended trainings and continued elevated positive affect the following evening. The study did not find phase effects of training. Qualitative evidence shows that participants used DBT skills in a variety of personal and professional settings to address negative emotions or deal with difficult situations. According to interviews and homework data, the skills presented were easy to understand and apply. The discussion includes limitations of the study and implications for future research.


mindfulness, teacher education, well-being, dialectical behavior therapy

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Psychology

Level of Degree


Department Name

Individual, Family, and Community Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Jan Armstrong

Second Committee Member

Matthew Lemberger-Truelove

Third Committee Member

Jay Parkes

Fourth Committee Member

Carolyn Hushman