Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Monograph

Degree

Master of Education

Program

Education

Supervisor

Bax, Karen.

2nd Supervisor

Crooks, Claire.

Joint Supervisor

Abstract

Arabic-speaking refugees experience a significant amount of trauma in their pre-and post-migration journey in Canada, which can negatively impact their well-being. Mindfulness programs have demonstrated wide-ranging benefits for children and youth, but there is a gap in the literature on providing culturally based mindfulness programs to refugee families. The present study conducted a process evaluation for the culturally adapted version of the Making Mindfulness Matter (M3) program (an 8-week concurrent parent and children mindfulness intervention), to assess program successes and challenges with families. Three groups were run, and a total of nine families recruited from the Muslim Resources Centre for Social Support and Integration participated. Parents (n=8) and children (n=9) completed the weekly feedback survey on program activities and completed a mindfulness knowledge questionnaire at the beginning and end of the program. Researchers documented curriculum activities completed each week, and a focus group was conducted with mindfulness program facilitators (n=4) to understand barriers to delivering the M3 program. A thematic analysis was conducted for parents’ and facilitators’ feedback. Children (n=9) had a significant increase in their awareness of mindfulness concepts. The parents’ mean comparison score on the mindfulness survey between before and after the program showed no significant difference; however, scores were moving in the right direction. Preliminary results indicated that the implementation of the M3 program was a success with notable challenges in the practicality of online programming.

Summary for Lay Audience

Arabic-speaking refugees are exposed to violence and destruction when they flee their home country. As a result, parents and children’s mental health is impacted. Mindfulness has been shown to improve both parents and children’s mental health. Unfortunately, there is a gap in the literature on providing culturally sound mindfulness programs for the whole family.

The focus of the current study was to evaluate the culturally adapted version of a mindfulness-based program called Making Mindfulness Matter (M3) with Arabic-speaking newcomer families. The M3 program is an eight-week online parent-child program. Families learned about mindfulness awareness, stress, perspective taking, kindness, and gratitude. Families are provided with strategies to use when they feel frustrated, anxious, or upset. Parents learned how to mindfully respond to their children rather than react.

The purpose of this study was to create and evaluate the implementation of the culturally adapted version of the M3 program. The researcher used a process evaluation plan to help explain what happened in the program and why the program worked or did not work. The process evaluation plan included six elements: fidelity, dose delivered, dose received, reach, recruitment, and context.

Nine families were involved in the study. Families and facilitators completed surveys before and after each session. These initial results showed that a culturally adapted version of the M3 program was generally successful with Arabic-speaking refugees. However, there needs to be more research to measure if the concurrent mindfulness-based intervention is practical with Arabic-speaking newcomer families.

Available for download on Thursday, August 31, 2023

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