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Teaching Mindfulness-Based Acceptance for Adolescent Girls: Qualitative Evaluation

Melissa Atkinson

Research aims/questions: To develop a brief mindfulness -based program aimed at improving body image, and investigate its acceptability in a sample of senior high school girls. Methodology: Female high school students (N=72) participated in a 3-week mindfulness-based program as part of a randomised controlled trial, with self-report measures completed at baseline, post-program, 1- and 6-month follow-up. Subjective ratings of acceptability factors were included at post -program and were assessed using 5-point Likert scales ranging from not at all to very. Results: Students’ ratings of change in body image resulted in a mean of 3.06 (SD = .66), reflecting a response of no change. Ratings of enjoyment (M = 2.18, SD = .95), understanding (M = 3.42, SD = 1.01), ease of use (M = 3.09, SD = 1.00), effectiveness (M = 2.17, SD = 1.05), and likelihood of continued use (M = 1.74, SD = .99), indicate low to moderate acceptability. Conclusions: Mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches are increasingly being utilised in efforts to improve mental health and well-being. Preliminary evaluations from the current study reflect the difficulties inherent in imparting and learning mindfulness concepts, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of school- based prevention and early intervention programs.

35th AACBT National Conference. Innovations in Self-Care and Resilience: Promoting Empowerment and Well Being. 17 - 19 October 2012, Sanctuary Cove, Queensland, Australia. Visit AACBT at :

Melissa Atkinson
Melissa Atkinson
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VideoTeaching Mindfulness-Based Acceptance for Adolescent Girls: Qualitative EvaluationMelissa Atkinson12'17"

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Melissa Atkinson

Bachelor of Science (Honours), The Butterfly Research Institute, Flinders University. SA, Australia.

As part of her PhD, Flinders University psychology student Melissa Atkinson, has been investigating the power of “acceptance techniques” as a method to reduce body dissatisfaction among people who are at risk of developing an eating disorder.
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Co-authors: Professor Tracey Wade. Flinders University. SA, Australia.
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