Delivery of Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts in the Secondary School Setting: Factors that Support Successful Implementation and Strategies for Navigating Implementation Challenges

  • T. Meixner
  • A. Irwin
  • M. Wolfe Miscio
  • M. Cox
  • S. Woon
  • T. McKeough
  • K. MilliganEmail author
Original Paper


Implementation of mindfulness programs in secondary schools has increased dramatically in the past decade. Evaluations of these programs have primarily emphasized outcomes of participation, with less focus on implementation processes. Both are important to establish the initial evidence base and support dissemination and replication. The present study qualitatively explored factors that supported the initial implementation of a mindfulness-based martial arts intervention delivered in a secondary school setting for youth with or at risk for self-regulation challenges. Post-intervention, semi-structured interviews with 24 students (Mage = 14.87 years) and 2 group leaders, and focus groups with 10 teachers were completed to elicit their perceptions of factors that facilitated or hindered the implementation process. Exploratory thematic analysis suggested that factors differed by type of respondent but generally focused on three broad areas: fidelity to program characteristics, program delivery, and communication. Recommendations for secondary school-based implementation teams are discussed, in addition to future directions for mindfulness implementation research in secondary schools.


Mindfulness Secondary school At-risk students Intervention Martial arts Implementation factors 



We thank the student participants, research assistants Rachelle Cosme and Melissa Rowbotham, and the staff at the high school, Point in Time Centre for Children, Youth and Parents, and the Child Development Institute. We are also grateful to funding support received from the Ontario Centre for Excellence in Children’s Mental Health (Doing Grant awarded to Marg Cox).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Meixner
    • 1
  • A. Irwin
    • 1
  • M. Wolfe Miscio
    • 2
  • M. Cox
    • 2
  • S. Woon
    • 3
  • T. McKeough
    • 4
  • K. Milligan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Point in Time Centre for Children, Youth and ParentsHaliburtonCanada
  3. 3.Trillium Lakelands District School BoardLindsayCanada
  4. 4.Integra ProgramChild Development InstituteTorontoCanada

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