Title page for ETD etd-08122009-145944

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Dellbridge, Carey-Ann
Email careydell@gmail.com
URN etd-08122009-145944
Document Title An adolescent's subjective experiences of mindfulness
Degree MEd
Department Educational Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr Carien Lubbe-De Beer Committee Chair
  • attention
  • awareness
  • present
  • attitude
  • self-regulation
  • universalism
  • mindlessness
  • mindfulness
  • adolescents
  • interpretivism
  • case study
  • subjective experiences
Date 2009-09-01
Availability unrestricted

An adolescent’s subjective experiences of mindfulness were explored in a single case study of a 17-year-old female. Data were created by means of “mindfulness sessions”, unstructured interviews, creative expression, journals and field notes. The data were analysed and interpreted using a combination of typological and interpretive analysis strategies. Findings are presented within a conceptual framework of mindfulness derived by the author from the literature review. The conceptual framework includes the following five “dimensions” of mindfulness: ‘present-centered attention and awareness’, ‘attitude and heart qualities’, ‘self-regulation’, ‘universalism of mindfulness’, and ‘mindlessness’.

The adolescent’s subjective experiences of each dimension of mindfulness are presented in terms of the primary and secondary themes that emerged from the data. Emerging themes include being task-oriented, experiencing greater external than internal awareness, and enhanced sensory experiences, in terms of present-centered attention and awareness in mindfulness. In terms of the ‘attitude and heart qualities’ dimension of mindfulness, the participant experienced the themes of perfectionism and “letting go”, and an increased intention to practice mindfulness. The study found that the participant experienced self-regulation of attention in mindfulness as interest-driven, needing silence, requiring effort, and improved with awareness. The participant experienced a greater awareness of mindlessness, as well as the themes of mindfulness being applicable to everyday life, and an initial conflict as to the place of mindfulness in the contexts of science and religion.

Overall findings suggest firstly that the participant subjectively experienced mindfulness as being predominantly task-oriented. Secondly, it appears that the participant experienced personal growth and development in terms of her understanding and practice of mindfulness. These findings could make a potential contribution towards qualitative research on mindfulness, and research on how mindfulness could possibly apply to an adolescent. Studies have shown mindfulness to be a potentially promising intervention and quality to be cultivated in the development of well-being. This study is thus significant in the context of positive psychology and a move towards more holistic health and well-being.

Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Dellbridge, C 2009, An adolescent's subjective experiences of mindfulness, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-08122009-145944/ >

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