Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 1771–1788 | Cite as

Is Mindful Parenting Associated with Adolescents’ Well-being in Early and Middle/Late Adolescence? The Mediating Role of Adolescents’ Attachment Representations, Self-Compassion and Mindfulness

  • Helena MoreiraEmail author
  • Maria João Gouveia
  • Maria Cristina Canavarro
Empirical Research


There is some evidence that mindful parenting, a parenting approach that involves the practice of bringing mindful awareness to the parent-child relationship, is associated with several positive psychosocial outcomes in adolescents. However, only a few studies have investigated the mechanisms that may underlie that association. This study explores whether the link between mindful parenting and adolescents’ well-being is mediated by adolescents’ attachment representations, self-compassion and mindfulness skills. The sample comprised 563 parent-child dyads (95.6% mothers). Adolescents (61.5% girls) had a mean age of 14.26 years (SD = 1.66, range = 12–20). Parents completed a measure of mindful parenting, and adolescents completed measures of attachment representations, self-compassion, mindfulness, and well-being. Mindful parenting was indirectly associated with adolescents’ self-compassion and mindfulness through a more secure perception of the relationship with the parents, and was indirectly associated with adolescents’ well-being through perceived attachment security, self-compassion and mindfulness. The path model was invariant across stages of adolescence but some relations in the model varied across gender. Self-compassion and mindfulness seem to develop within a parent-child relationship characterized by affection, self-regulation, and mindful awareness. These two resources, along with mindful parenting and positive representations of the parent-child relationship, are associated with adolescents’ well-being.


Mindful parenting Attachment representations Self-compassion Mindfulness Well-being Adolescence 


Authors’ Contributions

H.M. conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, performed the statistical analysis, and wrote the manuscript; M.J.G. participated in the data collection and interpretation of the data; M.C.C. revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This work was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology under Grant SFRH/BPD/70063/2010.

Data Sharing Declaration

This manuscript’s data will not be deposited.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants (parents) included in the study. Informal assent was obtained from adolescents.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognitive-Behavioral Center for Research and InterventionUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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