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Guided imagery-based Intervention on the well-being, socioemotional and cognitive development, physiologic activity, and academic success of children in school.


YEARS: 2023-2026



Investigate the effectiveness of an Intervention Program "MindREgulation", which uses relaxation and guided imagery with socioemotional learning (SEL)for enhancing children's well-being in schools.


A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial will assess the impact of the program implemented over five months, on emotional, cognitive, and physiological outcomes of 3rd and 4th graders aged 8-11.


Classes will be chosen from TEIP schools in Lisbon and randomly assigned to three groups: guided imagery and relaxation, only relaxation, and a control group.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Attend the 3rd and 4th grade of the selected school (8-11 years-old)

MindRegulation Intervention

1. Relaxation exercises, breathing and closing the eyes, focusing on body parts;

2. Guided imagery through narrated scripts, and exposure to Social and Emotional Learning content (based on the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning framework (CASEL), in three major themes:

  • Me with myself (self-awareness and self-management);

  • Me with the others (social-awareness and relationships skills);

  • Me with the world (responsible decision making and social awareness);

3. Instructions for self-regulation of body posture and the use of touch (shoulders) to support children in posture regulation.


1. Relaxation exercises, breathing and closing the eyes, focusing on body parts.

(as in MindRegulation intervention) 

The interventions: 15 minutes before learning activities, three times per week, for five months - 57 sessions.



  • Global Happiness Faces Scale

  • Positive and Negative Affect 

  • Mental Health Continuum (MHC)

  • Socioemotional Skills

  • Emotional Regulation Questionnaire

  • Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children

  • Children's Academic evaluation reports

  • Lifespan-Self-esteem-scale

  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III)

Children's Physiological Measures:

  • Electrocardiogram to evaluate Heart Rate Variability (HRV) 

  • Salivary Cortisol - Physiologic Stress

  • Skin Conductance Level - Electrodermal Activity

  • Physical activity:

  • Actigraphy - Accelerometry


Teachers & Parents semi-structured reports & Children's Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire 

Data will be collected before, after, and six months after the intervention.


Iolanda Galinha (PI)

Patrícia Arriaga

Joana Carvalho

Margarida Matos

Augusta Gaspar

António Palmeira

Gina Lemos

Joaquim Melro

Hélder Fernandes

Cátia Reis

Vitória Cardoso

Hugo Plácido da Silva

Diego Pinal

Susana Martins


Research Student @ ISCTE

Sinah Tiller


Galinha, I. et al. (2024). MindRegulation: Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of a Relaxation and Guided Imagery Intervention on the psychophysiological well-being, socioemotional regulation, cognitive and academic development of children in school. Preprint @ Research Square,

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