Degree: MS, Occupational Therapy, 2009, Ohio State University
► Children are experiencing increasing levels of stress both in the school environment…
▼ Children are experiencing increasing levels of stress both in the school environment and at home. Yoga and mindfulness training are examples of less traditional methods being explored to help children manage this stress. The positive effects of these methods can include improved balance, strength and flexibility, as well as improved emotional health and behavior. Children who have participated in mindfulness programs have shown an increase in attention, relaxation, as well as decreased conduct and anger management problems. Following participation in a yoga and mindfulness program, twenty-one second grade children were participants in focus groups designed to explore their experiences and perceptions of the program. Using a qualitative approach, the children were asked predetermined open-ended question probes following an art-based activity used as an introduction. An iterative process was used to identify and confirm themes from transcripts of the focus groups. The children interviewed during the focus groups perceived that following their participation they had increased strength, attention and on-task behavior, and social emotional abilities. Equally, they were able to express ways that they were able to transfer those techniques to situations in and outside of the school environment. The outcome of this study seems to indicate that techniques such as these could be an integral part of improving a child’s success in school and in developing better social relationships.
Advisors/Committee Members: Case-Smith, Jane.