Hilary A. Evans (author), Kathryn Weaver (third reader), Krista D. Socholotiuk (second reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution), Mihaela S. Launeanu (thesis supervisor)
Eating disorders (EDs) in adolescence are serious mental health disorders that commonly have noteworthy medical and mental health comorbidities (Fitzsimmons-Craft, Karam, Wilfley, 2018). Shame has been found to be a significant factor associated with EDs (Burney & Irwin, 2000; Goss & Allan, 2009; Waller, Ohanian, Meyer & Osman, 2000), yet no studies have explored what helps and hinders building shame resilience during adolescence from the perspective of the adult who lived through it. This retrospective qualitative study used the enhanced critical incident technique (Butterfield, Borgen, Maglio, & Amundson, 2009), and the sample of this study included women who received an ED diagnosis between the age of 11 and 21 (N = 10). Data analysis revealed 13 helping categories, 15 hindering categories, and 9 wish list items.
Jerlyn J. Chan (author), Marvin McDonald (second reader), Robert Lees (second reader), Christine Slavik (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
This thesis project explored educators’ views of a mindfulness program that was delivered to elementary school students by high school students. This youth-led approach to delivering mental health literacy was evaluated as part of a pilot project that intended to connect both older and younger students and pass down mindfulness education. The method, the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique, was selected and involved conducting in-person interviews with each of the participants. The participants consisted of six educators, who offered diverse perspectives by their first-hand knowledge and experience of the program or familiarity with the program’s development. Participants included the elementary school and high school teachers, the elementary school principal and community agency staff. The findings of this study showed a consensus whereby educators viewed the program favourably and believed it to be valuable to their students and their larger community. The youth-led approach was shown to demonstrate the youth’s capacity to act as positive role models and lead the mindfulness training. The feasibility of the program was supported with reference to key partnerships and its possible application to additional community settings. An enthusiasm and keen interest to continue and expand the program were also captured in the results. The educators’ views of this program, the Youth-led Mindfulness Program (YLMP), were investigated to answer the following research question: What are educators’ views about what helps and hinders school-based mental health literacy programs that are delivered by youth as mindfulness trainers?
Willow C. Glasier (author), Mihaela Launeanu (thesis supervisor), Janelle Kwee (second reader), Nancy Sidell (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Placing a loved one in care does not relieve informal caregivers’ physical and emotional stresses, yet the experience of caregivers during the long process of separation has not been fully explored, especially in Canada. This study sought to identify the social processes of involuntary separation for caregiving spouses. Participants were 17 spouse-caregivers who had been involuntarily separated for an average of 20 months. All participants lived in Southern Alberta. Data were comprised of 12 individual interviews and one focus group. Using Charmaz’s (2006) model of grounded theory, this study found that the basic social process of spouse-caregiver involuntary separation was connecting, which had three distinct stages: 1) Initial news and coping, 2) Adjusting to new situation, and 3) Moving forward. There were four additional categories: 1) Adjustment to separation, 2) Significant Helping Roles, 3) Family, and 4) Social world. Movement through the three stages was influenced by reciprocal connections.
Fred Chou (author), Janelle Kwee (thesis supervisor), Robert Lees (thesis supervisor), Marla Buchanan (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
This Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) study collaborated with six students from alternate education to inquire about the experiences of vulnerable youth--students who have disengaged from mainstream education. Utilizing the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique, youth researchers asked their peers: what helped and hindered their retention and success in mainstream and alternate education? Youth researchers engaged in authentic participation and took part in the iterative phases of YPAR--critical reflection and social action. Their involvement empowered them to advocate for their peers by disseminating the results and recommendations to key stakeholders within the community. Youth researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with 18 participants. Overall, the findings show that relationships with staff and peers, flexibility, psychosocial and academic supports, and personal circumstances are vital in helping vulnerable students succeed in school. Engagement in YPAR provided insight on how to work with vulnerable youth in a manner that promotes agency and social change.