The present study is aimed at investigating the effects and mechanisms of the Mindful Parenting Program (MPP) on the stress of Chinese parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A total of 113 Chinese parents of children with ADHD were randomly assigned to the MPP group (n = 58) or the treatment as usual (TAU) waitlist-control group (n = 55). The following parameters were assessed at baseline and posttreatment: parental stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, as well as general mindfulness, mindful parenting, and self-compassion. Each child’s ADHD symptoms and behavioral/emotional symptoms were also measured.
The MPP group showed significantly greater amelioration of parental stress (F = 8.79, p = .004, effect size d =0.44) compared with that of the TAU waitlist-control group after eight weeks. The MPP group also showed greater improvements in parental general mindfulness (F = 11.40, p < .001, effect size d = 0.56) and self-compassion (F = 17.83, p < .001, effect size d = 0.62), but not mindful parenting (F = 2.32, p = 0.131), compared to those of the TAU group. Improvements in general mindfulness and parental self-compassion mediated the effect of the Mindful Parenting Program on parental stress at posttreatment, with effect sizes of 0.46 and 0.46, respectively. For the MPP completers, improvements in general parental mindfulness, parental self-compassion, and mindful parenting correlated with improvements in their children’s ADHD symptoms and behavioral symptoms. Correlation between the total practice times and outcome improvements was nonsignificant.
Our findings suggest that the Mindful Parenting Program may be effective for ameliorating parental stress among Chinese parents of children with ADHD.
Clinical Trial Registration: https:// www.chictr.org.cn; ChiCTR1800019215