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05-10-2021 | ORIGINAL PAPER Open Access

Family Mindfulness Training for Childhood ADHD: Short- and Long-Term Effects on Children, Fathers and Mothers

Susan M. Bögels, Frans J. Oort, Eva Potharst, Ruud van Roosmalen, J. Mark G. Williams, Esther I. de Bruin
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Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-021-01761-y.

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We evaluated the effects of the family mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) “MYmind” for children with ADHD and their parents, and examined child and parent predictors of child outcome.


Using a pragmatic quasi-experimental waitlist design, children aged 7–19 years (n = 167), clinically referred with a DSM-IV ADHD diagnosis, and both their parents completed waitlist (average waiting time was 8 weeks), pre-test, post-test, 8-week, and 1-year follow-up measurements. MYmind consisted of eight weekly 1.5-h mindfulness-based group sessions for children and parallel for parents, and a follow-up session. We assessed children’s and both parents’ ADHD symptoms and other psychopathology, child executive function, parental stress, parental overreactivity, and mindful parenting.


Multilevel analyses revealed medium-to-large effect-sized reduced child ADHD symptoms between pre- and post-test, becoming stronger at follow-ups, while no waitlist effects occurred. Parents above the ADHD threshold improved on adult ADHD symptoms with similar sized effects. Children’s and parents’ other psychopathology, child executive function, parental overreactivity, and mindful parenting improved, whereas parental stress only improved at 1-year follow-up. Child age, child gender, ADHD medication, parental ADHD, and parent participation did not predict child outcome. Parent gender however interacted with parental ADHD to predict child outcome; children of fathers (but not mothers) above the ADHD threshold improved more than children of fathers below the ADHD threshold at post-test and at 8-week follow-up. Reduced paternal ADHD from pre- to post-test mediated this effect.


Family MBI (MYmind) may reduce childhood ADHD and improve parental functioning. Fathers with ADHD symptoms appear important in helping offspring with ADHD.

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