Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Sinead Casey 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Sinead Casey and I am a Graduate of BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology, specialising in the practise path. From my studies in IADT I have developed great interest in developmental psychology, clinical psychology and child and adolescent psychology. I am interested in pursuing a career working in the field of children's mental health and wellbeing. I plan on pursuing postgraduate studies in this field, with the aim to become a a clinical psychologist in the future. I have gained experience in this area by volunteering throughout my studies with organisations such as Spunout, The Down Syndrome Centre and a number of Serious Fun Network camps in Ireland and the USA.

Project Description

Mindfulness- based activities have become increasingly popular in recent years, providing benefits to individuals such as reduced anxiety, increased focus and concentration, and improved stress management. Despite the large body of research that exists in the area of mindfulness and its benefits for adults, there is a gap in literature in relation to its benefits for children and young people, most notably the immediate effects. It was also of interest to investigate the differences between the genders. For this reason, this study took a quantitative approach and conducted an experiment into the effects of mindfulness activities and Gender on children's attention levels.

Project Objectives

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of Mindfulness activities and Gender on children's attention levels. the Stroop Colour and Word Test was used to analyse participant's attention levels. The study employed a quantitative research design and collected data anonymously from participants. The study was conducted in a classroom environment where students completed the stroop test once before partaking in a mindfulness activity and once afterwards. Participant's scores from both tests were then analysed to see if there was an improvement.
The study aimed to answer two research questions:

RQ 1: Do mindfulness-based activities have an effect on children’s attention levels?

RQ 2: Is there a difference in the Stroop Test scores of males and females?

Project Outcomes

Through experimental methods, significant results were found in relation to both research questions. The results of the first demonstrated the positive effects mindfulness activities can have on young people of primary school age in relation to attention and concentration skills. The second showed that females appear to score higher in the Stroop Test than males. It is also evident that females improved their scores on the Stroop Test more significantly than males. Inferences made from this study, indicate the significant benefits the implementation of such practices may have on the education of young people. Furthermore, the inclusion of such practises from a young age may aid these young people in the difficulties they may face moving forward.

Thesis Title

Investigating the effects of Minfulness-based activities and Gender on Children's Attention Levels: An Experimental Study