An Interoception- Based Intervention for Improving Emotional Regulation in Children in a Special Education Classroom: Feasibility Study

Author: Kelly Mahler1, Kerri Hample1, Carly Ensor1, Mary Ludwig1, Laura Palanzo-Sholly2, Adelaide Stang1, Dominic Trevisan3, Claudia Hilton4
1 Department of Occupational Therapy, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA, USA.
2 Department of Occupational Therapy, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA, USA.
3 Child Study Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
4 Occupational Therapy Department, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA.
Conference/Journal: Occup Ther Health Care
Date published: 2024 Feb 20
Other: Pages: 1-15 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1080/07380577.2024.2313527. , Word Count: 163

Interoception supports the ability to notice, interpret, and react to internal sensations and impacts emotional regulation and participation in meaningful activities. This study aimed to expand evidence regarding the efficacy of a 7-week intervention based on The Interoception Curriculum: A Guide to Developing Mindful Self-Regulation in improving interoception and emotional regulation. We purposefully sampled middle-school participants (N = 9) with several diagnoses from a special education classroom. Self-report and teacher-report measures on interoceptive awareness and emotional regulation were collected before and after implementation of the interoception intervention. Statistically significant correlations were seen between the interoceptive awareness and emotional regulation and improvements in interoceptive awareness and emotional regulation were found following the intervention. In a small one group pretest/post-test design, a seven-week intervention based on the interoception curriculum demonstrated feasibility of this approach for children in a special education classroom and outcomes showed that interoceptive awareness and emotional regulation could improve after participation in this intervention.

Keywords: Emotional regulation; feasibility; interoception; special education.

PMID: 38375672 DOI: 10.1080/07380577.2024.2313527