Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jacqueline Brown

Commitee Members

Rachel Severson, Christine Fiore, Jennifer Waltz, Jingjing Sun


burnout, mindfulness, school, school psychologist, school-based mindfulness


University of Montana


The role of school psychologists (SPs) includes consulting with parents, teachers, and working directly with students. Researchers have demonstrated a high rate of burnout among professionals in this field (e.g., Huebner, 1992; Schilling et al., 2018). Mindfulness-based interventions have been found to be useful to address symptoms of burnout among other professionals (e.g., physicians: Luken & Sammons, 2016). Mindfulness has also been theorized as particularly useful for the myriad roles that school psychologists work within (Alahari, 2017). Although research into the utility of mindfulness have found positive effects for students within the schools (e.g., Felver et al., 2016), no research has addressed the utility of mindfulness among school psychologists. The present study recruited practicing SPs to complete a series of surveys designed to collect the level of training and use of mindfulness, trait mindfulness, and burnout. SPs reported relatively high levels of training and familiarity with the concept, primarily through professional development. Results showed that use of mindfulness was positively related to overall familiarity. Level of burnout was also shown to be negatively related to use of mindfulness. Finally, trait mindfulness was negatively related to symptoms of burnout among practicing SPs. Qualitative themes included factors related to burnout (e.g., leadership, COVID- 19), the benefit of mindfulness and other strategies to address burnout, how mindfulness can improve therapeutic relationships, and buy-in as a prevalent barrier for mindfulness in the schools.



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