Focus on mindfulness and holistic practices are useful as a complementary or alternative medicine when compared to western medicine. Most of prior research conducted on mindfulness-based approaches has had a focus on adults but it has become apparent that these approaches are beneficial for children and adolescents, thus becoming a growing approach (Ciesia, Reilly, Dickson, Emanuel, & Updegraff, 2012; Kuyken, et al., 2013). Mindfulness is made up of multiple, similar ideas including holistic health and alternative medicine, making it difficult to directly measure mindfulness.
One study by Ceisia, Reilly, Dickson, Emmanuel & Updegraff (2012), describes mindfulness as being made up of ...view middle of the document...
This study found those who practice mindfulness techniques tend to handle the stresses better. This study focused on adolescents who were mindful in daily life and those who did not feel the same way. Researchers then asked the student to report stressful events happing in daily life, and how many stressful events occurred daily. The results showed mindfulness practices helped buffer daily stressors in adolescents.
Mindfulness practices can help buffer stressful situations, but it has also been shown to decrease the level of stress in children’s lives, along with showing a greater well-being (Kuyken, et al., 2013). This study used twelve schools. In these schools, half of the children were put in a mindfulness-based program, and the other half in the regular curriculum. The mindfulness program used mindfulness-based cognitive therapies and taught children mindfulness-based stress reduction. The intended outcome of this program was to teach adolescents skills to promote mental health, and to work through stressful situations and promote well-being. The study intentionally took place during a stressful time for the children, during exam session. The researchers found that the mindfulness program showed a reduction in low-grade depressive symptoms, immediately and long term.
Another study found that wellness factors, such as spirituality, self-direction, emotional awareness coping, nutrition, love, and stress-management promote a higher self-esteem in adolescents (Myers, Willse, & Villalba, 2011). This study focused on adolescents, and their rate of self-esteem along with self-reports and ratings of the wellness factors in their lives. The results of this study showed that higher rates of wellness factors were predictive of a higher self-esteem in adolescents.
At the bare minimum, physical activity, in general, helps improve self-efficacy and self-concept (Fisher et al, 2010). This study measured levels of physical activity in boys and girls by wearing a monitor that tracked the amount of movement for five consecutive days. Although the results did not show a significant correlation for young girls, the researchers found higher levels of physical activity in boys predicted higher self-efficacy and self-concept.
Based on previous studies, the hypothesis for this study is that students who are exposed to mindful and holistic forms of health will have better physical and mental health overall. The goal of this study will be to monitor students in the experimental group, or those who will be learning and practicing mindfulness and holistic health activities, and decipher whether or not these activities promote better health and higher grade point averages.
Ciesla, J. A., Reilly, L. C., Dickson, K. S., Emanuel, A. S., & Updegraff, J. A. (2012). Dispositional mindfullness moderates the effects of stress among adolescents: Rumination as a mediator. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 41(6), 760-770....