The mindfulness umbrella : a qualitative inquiry into how emerging adults perceive and mobilise mindfulness : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
Background: New Zealand youth have among the worst mental health rates globally. Mindfulness is often recommended to improve well-being, yet little research has been done within this population. Further, the research to date has predominantly focused on quantifying results of mindfulness-based programmes, leaving conceptualisations and mobilisations of mindfulness largely unknown. Aim: The current study seeks to understand how emerging adults (EAs), aged 18-25, who have a current mindfulness practice understand and mobilise mindfulness. Methods: Ten qualitative interviews were analysed using thematic analysis with critical realist epistemology and ontology. Analysis: Four overarching themes are discussed: Be Focused Right Now: Attentional Awareness; Metacognitively Mindful; Mindfully Processing and Problem Solving; and Part of Everyday Life. Both beneficial and challenging elements of mindfulness are discussed. Discussion and implications: This is the first study to gain insight into how New Zealand EA understand and practise mindfulness. The analysis suggests participants often mobilise mindfulness for coping with challenges and maintaining well-being. The implications of this research, and possible future directions are discussed. More research is needed to generalise to broader EA and New Zealand populations.