Jill Haydicky, M.A.
My name is Jill Haydicky, and I am a PhD student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology program at OISE/University of Toronto. My research explores the effects of mindfulness meditation for youth and their parents. Being mindful means being aware of, and fully present in, each moment. It means paying attention to what is happening around you, and what is happening inside you. Being mindful takes a lot of practice, but it can have a big impact. Our 8 week program, developed and tested by researchers in Holland (Bogels, Hoogstad, van Dun, de Shutter & Restifo, 2008) is designed to improve attention and focus, lower anxiety and stress, and improve interactions between teens with ADHD and their parents. My previous research showed that when teenage boys with Learning Disabilities and ADHD participated in Integra’s Mindfulness Martial Arts program, they became more cooperative, had fewer behaviour problems and social problems, and became better at monitoring their own behaviour. Boys with high levels of anxiety also reported decreased anxiety after the program. I think mindfulness programs are important because they teach people how to use their own inner resources to cope with life’s challenges.