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01-04-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2015

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2015

Association Between Mindful Parenting and Adolescents’ Internalizing Problems: Non-judgmental Acceptance of Parenting as Core Element

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2015
Auteurs:
Naline Geurtzen, Ron H. J. Scholte, Rutger C. M. E. Engels, Yuli R. Tak, Rinka M. P. van Zundert

Abstract

Previous studies have showed that traditional parenting dimensions (e.g., responsiveness, behavioral control, psychological control, and autonomy support) are related to adolescents’ internalizing problems. The current study examined mindful parenting, a new approach to parenting based on the principles of mindfulness. Mindful parenting as operationalized in the present study consisted of six dimensions: listening with full attention, compassion for the child, non-judgmental acceptance of parental functioning, emotional non-reactivity in parenting, emotional awareness of the child, and emotional awareness of self. These six mindful parenting dimensions were assumed to be associated with adolescents’ symptoms of depression and anxiety while controlling for traditional parenting dimensions and parental symptoms of depression and anxiety. The sample consisted of 901 adolescents (46.8 % girls, M age = 13.4 years) and their parents (94.2 % biological mothers, M age = 45.2 years). Results showed that of the six mindful parenting dimensions, only the dimension non-judgmental acceptance of parental functioning was significantly associated with adolescents’ internalizing problems. This means that children of parents who reported higher levels of non-judgmental acceptance of their own functioning as a parent reported fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. These findings indicate that in future parenting research and practices, it is relevant to take parental thoughts, feelings, and attitudes with regard to their own role as a parent into account when studying the association between parenting and adolescents’ internalizing problems.

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