Emerging evidence supports the positive effects of mindful parenting as a clinical intervention in the context of child psychopathology; however, previous studies have not considered the specific parenting predictors of improvements in child outcomes.
Parents accessing a child and youth secondary mental health care center participated in an 8-week mindful parenting training (n = 89). The effects of the mindful parenting training were assessed on parent-reported child’s psychopathology, parents’ own psychopathology, mindfulness, and parenting factors from pre- to post-intervention, 8-week and 1-year follow-up.
Multi-level analyses indicated immediate and delayed improvements in most child and parent outcomes. Changes in experiential avoidance in parenting partially predicted improvements in child internalizing problems. In combination with mindful parenting, experiential avoidance in parenting fully accounted for improvements in child attention problems. Changes in parental over-reactivity fully accounted for improvements in child externalizing problems.
The mindful parenting training successfully improved the targeted (mindful) parenting factors, which in turn predicted improvements across different child outcomes.
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Conflict of Interest
SB is shareholder of a treatment center that offers Mindful Parenting training. All other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Ethical Committee of the University of Amsterdam, the Medical Ethical Commission of the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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Emerson, L., Aktar, E., de Bruin, E. et al. Mindful Parenting in Secondary Child Mental Health: Key Parenting Predictors of Treatment Effects. Mindfulness 12, 532–542 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-019-01176-w
- Mindful parenting
- Experiential avoidance
- Child psychopathology
- Parent psychopathology
- Parenting stress
- Parental over-reactivity