City Research Online

The Kindness Paradox: A Mixed Methods Exploration of the Lovingkindness Meditation with a Sample of Young Adults

de Klerk, Helena (2021). The Kindness Paradox: A Mixed Methods Exploration of the Lovingkindness Meditation with a Sample of Young Adults. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Objectives. The aims of this mixed methods feasibility study were to explore the potential benefits of the lovingkindness meditation (LKM) for young adults (YA) and to better understand the effects of LKM by exploring potential underlying mechanisms. Methods. 28 participants aged between 18-25 participated in a novel process-specific group LKM intervention. All participants completed four baseline measures, which were repeated post intervention and at a 6-month follow up. The measures included wellbeing, connectedness, mentalizing and attachment questionnaires. All participants were sent a survey towards the end of the study and a subsample of participants completed semi-structured interviews postintervention and at follow-up. Results. Using parametric and non-parametric analyses for the quantitative data and Thematic Analysis (TA) for the qualitative data, this study found mixed evidence for LKM. Significant improvements were evident post-intervention for wellbeing and connectedness, and participants identified a range of benefits suggesting that
LKM was helpful. However the data also suggested that engaging with LKM was challenging. For some this difficulty facilitated a deeper engagement with LKM, while for others it resulted in disengagement. Conclusions. These mixed results show evidence of a Kindness Paradox, identifying LKM’s ability to be both helpful and challenging. These results need to be taken into account in future applications of LKM, to ensure LKM is applied in a person-centred way, respectful of each individual’s need.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
City, University of London (-2022) > School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Arts & Social Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 31 May 2025 due to copyright restrictions.

To request a copy, please use the button below.

Request a copy



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login