Comparing Indirect and Combined Effects of Mindfulness and Compassion Practice Among Schoolchildren on Inter- and Intra-personal Abilities

Ricardo Tarrasch, Rony Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: During the last decade, mindfulness-based interventions have been implemented in the educational system. Such programs could follow several approaches, including an indirect approach, in which interventions are delivered only to teachers and a combination in which interventions are delivered to both teachers and students. Because of the importance of teacher’s involvement in programs designed to help children, we compared students’ impact of indirect, combined, and control groups over time. The indirect program delivered was the “Call to Care – Israel for Teachers,” and the direct program was the “Call to Care Israel” for students. Both programs employ mindfulness, compassion, and training of social-emotional skills, with a unique emphasis on care. Methods: Two hundred 4th and 5th grade students were divided into indirect (2 classrooms), combined (3 classrooms), or control groups (3 classrooms). Each condition was implemented in a different school; schools were randomly divided into groups. The interventions were delivered by trained facilitators and included 20 weekly meetings. Outcomes for students were measured before the intervention, after it ended, and 6 months later. Results: Hierarchical linear models revealed that both the indirect and the combined approaches were effective in improving well-being, anxiety, attention, and teacher’s availability and acceptance, while only the combined approach was effective in improving mindfulness, somatization, classroom atmosphere, and pro-social behavior. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the combined approach is more beneficial than the indirect approach. However, given the scalability and cost of the indirect approach, it should also be considered an effective alternative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2282-2298
Number of pages17
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Call to Care – Israel
  • Classroom atmosphere
  • Compassion
  • Mindfulness
  • Students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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