Date of Award

Summer 8-9-2016

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Andrew Roach, PhD

Second Advisor

Brian Barger, PhD

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Mindfulness is most commonly associated with meditation techniques which aim to increase an individual’s awareness in the present moment, reduce mindless responding, and enhance non-judgmental observation. Building on this definition, researchers defined mindful parenting as “the intentional bringing of moment-to-moment awareness to the parent-child relationship.”

AIM: The purpose of this study is investigate whether parents of young children living in low socioeconomic status (SES) neighborhoods are able to effectively use mindfulness practices to lower levels of depression, anxiety, and parental stress.

METHODS: This study utilized a pretest-posttest group design with follow up to evaluate the effectiveness of the integrated mindfulness-parenting education program. Program participants (n=15) were recruited from families in the Peoplestown neighborhood, where Emmaus House is located, as well as surrounding neighborhoods with similar demographics. For the purpose of this research, a demographic questionnaire with non-identifying questions was administered to all participants at the end of the study.

RESULTS: As reported by participants, partaking in the integrated mindfulness-parenting education program lead to an increased level of mindfulness. Program participants also demonstrated a decrease in self-reported anxiety and depression.

DISCUSSION: According to the results from this pilot study, Mindfulness training appears to be a promising strategy for inclusion in parenting education programs.

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