Youths Aging Out of Foster Care and Their Experiences Learning Mindfulness in an Arts-Based Group Program.
Lougheed, Sean C. H.
Laurentian University of Sudbury.
xii, 303 p.
LU|ZONE|UL: Institutional Repository at Laurentian University
This paper discusses the findings of a study that implemented mindfulness-based intervention (MBIs) with youth transitioning out of foster care due their age. Applying qualitative inquiry and a constructivist lens, the study collected data from eight participants who participated in two different groups. Youths were interviewed using open-ended questions in three semi-structured interviews prior to, immediately after, and four months following participation in a holistic 10-week arts-based mindfulness group program. A follow-up meeting was held with all of the youth one year after the groups were completed. Using an inductive form of interpretive thematic analysis, analysis of the data yielded themes illustrating the participants’ perceptions of the challenges that they endured; the key features of resilience; their understanding of mindfulness; the benefits of learning mindfulness; and the perceived helpfulness of the group experience. Findings indicate the arts-based mindfulness group program was suitable and the youth expressed several benefits of learning mindfulness for their day-to-day lives including increased self-awareness and improved emotion regulation. The implications for service providers and other allies of marginalized youth are considered, and recommendations for future researchers are provided. Numerous references. (Author abstract modified)
foster adolescents; aging out; independent living; independent living skills; group work; group therapy; art therapy; therapeutic intervention; therapeutic effectiveness; youth engagement; resilience