School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Barbara Jordan-White


Emotional Intelligence, Meditation, Education, Smartphone App, Rural Virginia, Students


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this qualitative instrumental case study was to explore how an introduction of a mindfulness meditation app (Calm) affects students in rural Virginia. The theory that guided this study was that of emotional intelligence, popularized by the efforts of multiple researchers including Salovey and Mayer (1990), and Goleman (1995), as it may influence and be influenced by the specific characteristics observed (Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007; Charoensukmongkol, 2014; Waters, Barsky, Ridd, & Allen, 2015). Data was collected from 12 students by way of multiple methods including interviews, focus groups, journaling, an art project, researcher reflections, and field notes. Data was analyzed with NVivo and followed case study recommendations of Yin (2009) including coding, theme development, logic models, rival explanations, and pattern-matching. This particular geographic area was selected because of the dearth of research available on rural response, and the student perspective was sought as a response to direct recommendations found in recent research. The central research question was: How does a mindfulness meditation app affect students in rural Virginia? The interviews and written materials collected from each participant in this case study indicated a rich supply of advantages that may come forth by incorporating the use of a meditation app into one's schedule. From a collection of 21 recurring codes, four primary themes developed which include self-awareness and management as well as social awareness and management. Further, this study illuminated and corroborated earlier research on meditation advantages.