Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Felver, Joshua C.


Academic engagement, Mindfulness, Special education

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatry and Psychology


Student engagement in the primary school classroom has major implications for academic achievement, school dropout rates, later adolescent delinquent behavior, and adult psychopathology and incarceration (Broidy et al., 2003; Greenwood et al., 2002; Fredricks et al., 2004; Schaeffer et al., 2003). Soles of the Feet (SOF; Felver & Singh, 2020) is a standardized mindfulness-based program that has demonstrated effectiveness in increasing general education and special education student rates of academic engagement while employing a multiple-baseline across subjects design. The present work was designed to extend previous research by exploring the efficaciousness and acceptability of the SOF program delivered as a class-wide Tier II intervention among students receiving special education services in self-contained classrooms who also display low levels of academic engagement and high levels of off-task classroom behavior in a public middle school setting. This research utilized a multiple-baseline across subjects design to explore the efficaciousness of the SOF program delivered as a Tier II intervention to decrease individual student rates of off-task behavior and increase rates of on-task behavior. Four special education classrooms containing a total of approximately 12 to 15 students per classroom were scheduled to be taught the SOF program over the course of five 20-30-minute sessions. However, due to the school suspending all in-person education related to the SARS-COV-2 pandemic in the middle of this study, only one of the special education classrooms containing 12 students (3 who participated in the current research) were administered the SOF intervention. Direct observation data of student on- and off-task behavior was collected during the baseline phase for all eight participating students across all four classrooms, and post-intervention phase for two participants in the single classroom that received the SOF intervention prior to the study being cancelled due to SARS-COV-2. Direct observation data was analyzed via visual inspection and non-overlap of all pairs (NAP; Parker & Vannest, 2009), with limited results suggesting that the current research methods hold promise to better understand the efficaciousness of the SOF program on student levels of on-task behavior when delivered as a Tier II intervention.


Open Access