Benefits of an Arts-Based Mindfulness Group Intervention for Vulnerable Children
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2016
Pages: 1 - 13
Source ID: shanti-sources-69061
Collection: Mindfulness, Diversity, and Social Justice
Abstract: We discuss qualitative and quantitative research findings from a study exploring the benefits and effectiveness of a 12-week arts-based mindfulness group program for vulnerable children (children who were involved with the child welfare or mental health systems and experienced a variety of challenges). Using post-group individual interviews with children/guardians, and pre and post-intervention self-report data (using the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale and the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents), we hypothesized that children would have improved resilience and self-concept after having completed the program. Interpretive thematic qualitative analysis was conducted using transcribed interview data collected from 47 children (30 girls and 17 boys with a mean age of 10.38 years). The perceived benefits of participating in the group included improved (a) emotion regulation, (b) mood, (c) coping/social skills, (d) confidence and self-esteem, (e) empathy, and (f) ability to pay attention and focus. The quantitative analysis used self-report data from 77 children (43 girls and 34 boys with a mean age of 10.34 years). A repeated measures MANOVA was used to examine changes across the intervention period. Our hypothesis that children would have better scores on self-concept after having completed the program was partially supported and this result reflected the perceived improvements derived from the qualitative analysis. The hypothesis that resilience would improve post-group was not supported. Using these promising results, we discuss how strengths-based and arts-based mindfulness group methods may be effective in engaging vulnerable children in a beneficial helping process.