Date of Paper

5-2017

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Lisa Kiesel

Department/School

Master of Social Work

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to investigate the effectiveness and practicality of offering yoga classes for youth aged 18-24 years old experiencing homelessness. The class took place at an urban drop-in center for homeless youth located in a metropolitan city in the Midwest. The goals for the yoga class were to provide a safe space for youth, improve overall physical and mental health, test the effectiveness of yoga programming, and to provide the blue print for future research. A mixed method approach was selected for this evaluation using survey and openended questions and field observations. Quantitative techniques for analysis included descriptive statistics used to examine the survey results. Qualitative techniques included open-ended questions. The researcher developed thematic organization of feedback and conversations. General analysis was done of field notes and observations. The yoga class was found to be an effective tool to introduce mindfulness and the drop-in center had great intentionality to create a safe space for youth. Field observations included intentionality of creating safe space, the number of men and women in attendance, low attendance of the class, the slow start to new programming, and how to explain yoga to the youth. This evaluation offered insight into yoga programming for youth experiencing homelessness. Findings indicated there is feasibility and interest of yoga programming and it was an effective tool for this population. A consideration for future research is to create opportunities for longitudinal evaluation.

Included in

Social Work Commons

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