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Open AccessArticle

Mindfulness Training at School: A Way to Engage Adolescents with Sustainable Consumption?

1
Technische Universität Berlin, Division of Economic Education and Sustainable Consumption, Marchstr. 23, 10587 Berlin, Germany
2
Institute for Environmental & Sustainability Communication (INFU), Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Scharnhorststr. 1, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany
3
School of Sustainability and Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 875502, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3557; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103557
Received: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 1 October 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for Sustainable Consumption)
A central challenge in research on education for sustainable consumption (ESC) is to develop new approaches to engage adolescents with sustainable consumption (SC) in a way that addresses not only the cognitive but also the socio-emotional and behavioral levels. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) that foster awareness, (self-)reflection, and ethical values could potentially leverage learning processes in ESC. The present study was the first one to investigate the potential effects of a consumption-specific MBI on sustainable consumption behavior (SCB) in the areas of nutrition and clothing. The eight-week long intervention was carried out with 15-year old adolescents (N = 85) directly at school. A randomized pre-post waitlist control group design with mixed methods was applied. The study revealed the strong effects of the adapted MBI on precursors of SCB and further effects not directly related to but potentially conducive for SCB. Actual behavioral effects were minor. Substantial inter-individual differences and inconsistencies between qualitative and quantitative results imply case-related effects that do not allow generalizable conclusions to be drawn. Nevertheless, the results of this pilot study indicate that combining mindfulness training with ESC formats appears to be a feasible and fruitful approach to engage adolescents with SC. Future practice and research should consider more diverse target groups, other consumption areas, and longer periods for interventions and their evaluation. View Full-Text
Keywords: education for sustainable consumption; sustainable consumption behavior; mindfulness training; adolescents; school; randomized controlled intervention study; mixed methods education for sustainable consumption; sustainable consumption behavior; mindfulness training; adolescents; school; randomized controlled intervention study; mixed methods
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Böhme, T.; Stanszus, L.S.; Geiger, S.M.; Fischer, D.; Schrader, U. Mindfulness Training at School: A Way to Engage Adolescents with Sustainable Consumption? Sustainability 2018, 10, 3557.

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