A Preliminary Investigation into Children’s Experiences of Mindfulness Meditation: A Qualitative Analysis of Children’s Perspectives of Mindfulness

Prof Doc Thesis


Cain, Monica 2012. A Preliminary Investigation into Children’s Experiences of Mindfulness Meditation: A Qualitative Analysis of Children’s Perspectives of Mindfulness. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Pyschology
AuthorsCain, Monica
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

Interest in Mindfulness Meditation (Kabat-Zinn, 1994) has exploded in recent years. It is therefore timely that the field of counselling psychology explores what mindfulness might have to offer, not only in terms of treating mental ill health, but also in building resilience and strength within a vulnerable population. The purpose of this study was to explore children’s experience of meditation from a critical realist perspective, using Thematic Analysis to investigate how they describe their experiences.
Nineteen school children (a non-clinical sample), aged 9-10 years old, took part in 10-minute meditations facilitated by the researcher, daily for nine consecutive school days. They were then interviewed about their experiences. Eleven children were interviewed individually and eight participants were interviewed in two groups of four. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using Thematic Analysis. From the analysis, four main themes were identified in terms of the participants’ experiences: Meditation is a Process, A Positive Impact, Effects of Self-Awareness and Identity and Improved Functioning. A model of Psychological Endurance is proposed which is based upon these findings. The results supported the use of mindfulness with this population group, both in mental health and in educational settings, to help deal with stress, build strength and resilience. A comprehensive literature review and a critique of this study are included and research implications are considered.

KeywordsMindfulness meditation; Children; Psychological endurance
Year2012
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/PUB.3086
Publication dates
PrintApr 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Aug 2013
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/85z4q

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