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22-05-2017 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 6/2017

Mindfulness 6/2017

A Feasibility Study of a Brief Mindfulness-Based Program for Parents of Preschool Children with Developmental Disabilities

Mindfulness > Uitgave 6/2017
Herman Hay Ming Lo, Stanley Kam Chung Chan, Miu Ping Szeto, Christina Ying Ha Chan, Chun Wah Choi


Parents of children with developmental disabilities are more likely to report parental stress and depression. This, in turn, leads to vicious cycles of negative outcomes for these children and the family’s well-being. To address the difficulties of such parents, the authors developed a brief mindfulness-based program for parents of children with developmental disabilities (six weekly sessions, nine total contact hours, and 10 min of daily home practice). A randomized control trial was designed to examine the effectiveness of the program, and 180 eligible parents were recruited and were allocated to intervention group and control group. The results showed that after completing the program, parents had significant improvements in parental stress (F[1, 176] = 4.76, p = .03), depression (F[1, 176] = 8.07, p = .01), and stress from parent–child dysfunctional interaction (F[1, 176] = 6.46, p = .01). Based on the pretest scores, parents with severe stress and depression reported more significant positive changes, and they reported moderate effect sizes of 0.62 for stress and 0.57 for depression, respectively. Participant satisfaction scores revealed that the parents were satisfied with the content and overall program arrangement, and agreed that their ability to cope with emotions and stress was enhanced. The results gave support to the program’s feasibility. Future studies could further compare this brief program with a child behavior management program to investigate the outcomes and long-term benefits of this brief program. More directions for further studies are provided.

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