Exploring determinants of cancer-risk behaviour in youth : process evaluation of an adapted alternative school mindfulness program

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Prenoslo, Leslie Kathleen
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
Childhood stress has been linked to an increase in cancer-risk behaviours and cancer rates. Addressing health-risk behaviours in adolescence can create healthy lifelong habits. Mindfulness focuses on cultivating present-moment awareness and may offer a healthy coping strategy to youth. This thesis focused on process evaluation of a mindfulness intervention delivered to 17 junior high students attending an alternative school. The main objectives were to assess program adaptation, youth engagement, and youth experience. Technology was successfully integrated into the program. Results were inconclusive on whether adaptations to increase participant safety were successful. Youth were engaged in sessions, though some facilitation improvements were suggested. Participants experienced mindfulness as a quiet time, novel to typical busyness. Youth understandings of mindfulness increased post-intervention, with youth describing it as a tool for relaxation and coping. Findings can be used to strengthen the delivery of mindfulness interventions to youth within alternative schools.
healthy coping strategies , youth in alternative schools , mindfulness intervention , cancer risk behaviours , childhood stress , adolescent stress , junior high students , Stress in children , Stress in adolescence , Stress in youth , Cancer -- Risk factors , Risk-taking (Psychology) in adolescence , Mindfulness (Psychology) , Alternative schools -- Alberta -- Lethbridge , Self-help techniques , Meditation -- Therapeutic use , Stress management for teenagers , Mobile apps , Dissertations, Academic