Mindfulness Moments: Today and 4-Life Program for 4-H Camp Youth
Keywords:mindfulness, non-formal education, youth development, stress management, Extension education, program evaluation
This evaluation research addressed the gap in the stress management education literature related to short-term mindfulness programs for youth in non-formal educational settings. The Mindfulness Moments: Today and 4-Life program was adapted from existing curricula and delivered in Ohio and Pennsylvania during summer 2019. The purpose of the program was to help youth participants develop an understanding of the concept of mindfulness and instill a desire in them to apply mindfulness practices in their daily lives. Sixty-eight youth ages 10 to 18 participated in the program. We utilized a non-experimental study design, with a simple 1-group pretest posttest design. One portion of the survey instrument was posttest only. A new outcomes evaluation instrument was developed. This study demonstrated that program participation increased perceived knowledge of mindfulness and intention to apply mindfulness practices. The application of Pearson correlation showed there is a substantial significant relationship between desire to continue mindfulness practice and intention to practice mindfulness (r = .62, p = .01). Study results suggested that mindfulness program practitioners should first focus on helping youth learn the benefits of mindfulness in order to instill the desire among youth to practice mindfulness in daily life. Other recommendations for program practitioners and the evaluation instrument are discussed.
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