Type of Resources

Dissertation/Thesis

Date Created

11-15-2019

Abstract

Stein, Kathleen Noel. Using Self-compassionate Focused Writing Prompts by Middle School Students in the Dance Classroom: Shaping How Students Respond to Their Art and View Themselves as Artists. Unpublished Master of Arts thesis, University of Northern Colorado, 2019.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of using self-compassionate focused journal writing as a way to induce a more self-compassionate and less self-critical view in students of themselves and their art. This study examinedthe connection between the use of self-compassionate focused journal writing prompts and an increase in the levels of self-compassion that a student feltfor him or herself. The purpose of this study was to provide students with the self-compassion tools, strategies, and skills necessary to deal with perceived setbacks in their choreographic process and performance. This quantitative and qualitative study was designed to answer five essential questions to determine the benefits of self-compassion. The research instruments used to gather data included the twenty-six-item Neff Self-Compassion Survey, a four-question survey of emotions, journal responses, and student interviews. The study was based on research regarding the benefits of self-compassion in adults and adolescents. Self-compassion has been found to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase well-being and positive behaviors. As students navigate the challenges of adolescence, where there is the propensity for harsh self-criticism and negative social comparison, skills of self-compassion can provide adolescents with the tools to have a more positive outlook and self-view. The findings from this study suggested that the self-compassion intervention of the Three Good Things journal prompt can benefit how students view themselves as developing artists. The findings also suggested that self-compassion can help students to appreciate their dance making as art and to recognize the quality of their creativity. The findings from this study led to recommendations for further research including investigating the connection between self-compassion and goal setting as well as the benefits of a variety of self-compassion interventions and not just effects of the Three Good Things journal prompt. The limitations to the study included the small sample size of seventeen students, their age and maturity, and a lack of socio-economic diversity of the participants. Seventeen students took part in the semester length study; however, a larger sample size was needed in order to determine the effectiveness of the self-compassion intervention more thoroughly. Absences due to illness and other reasons hindered the ability for groups to devise their dances and for students tocomplete the Three Good Things responses consistently. Limitations also included second language learners in the study who were unfamiliar with the vocabulary of the research instruments, which may have hindered students from answering questions in a way that represented their ideas and feelings more precisely. An additional limitation was that students did not receive explicit instruction in self-compassion techniques.

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