Just take a second to breathe: Empowering youth through mindfulness at Atawhai 2019
McAllister, S. M. (2020). Just take a second to breathe: Empowering youth through mindfulness at Atawhai 2019 (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13947
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13947
This research was an evaluation of The Kindness Institute’s 2019 Atawhai programme. It examined the effects that exposure to mindfulness-based skills, Māori cultural practices, mentoring, and the creative arts had on a cohort of marginalised youth. Specifically, the research aimed to determine (1) if learning mindfulness-based skills helped the youth to positively deal with challenges, (2) what effect learning mindfulness-based skills has on their positive and negative emotions and (3) were youth empowered to share the skills they learned within their homes, families and communities to enable a wider benefit from the mindfulness-based skills. Participants included 12 youth who attended the Atawhai programme during 2019. They all completed shortened versions of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Adolescent Self-Regulatory Inventory (ASRI), The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ), Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) and Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) at seven stages over a nine-month period from March 2019 to December 2019. Self-report debrief questionnaires and researcher observations were recorded during the October 2019 residential intensive of 5 days. Inferential statistics (repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc paired t-tests) indicated a statistically significant increase in positive emotions (p<0.01) with a large effect 1.07 over the duration of the evaluation period from March 2019 to December 2019; the October 2019 intensive, p<0.01, d=1.37; and the April 2019 intensive, p<0.01, d=1.89. Statistically significant decreases in anxiety (p<0.01) with a large effect d=1.99 were indicated over the duration of the evaluation period from March 2019 to December 2019; the October 2019 intensive, p=0.07, d=0.57; and the April 2019 intensive, p≤0.01, d=1.19. Self-report measures indicated the youth; found the mindfulness-based skills beneficial, preferred a particular skill over others, and found their mentors supportive in helping them incorporate the skills into their daily lives. Youth reported they had continued their mindfulness-based practice outside Atawhai and were regularly sharing the skills within their homes, families and communities including their schools. These findings suggest the Atawhai programme has a profound and significant positive effect on the wellbeing of the young people it serves.
The University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
- Masters Degree Theses