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01-09-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 2/2021

Mindfulness 2/2021

Is Mindful Parenting a Mechanism that Links Parents’ and Children’s Tendency to Experience Negative Affect to Overprotective and Supportive Behaviors?

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness > Uitgave 2/2021
Auteurs:
Helena Moreira, Brígida Caiado, Maria Cristina Canavarro
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Abstract

Objectives

The main goal of this study is to investigate the mediating role of mindful parenting dimensions in the relationship between parents’ and children’s tendency to experience negative affect (i.e., parents’ neuroticism and children’s negative reactivity) and parents’ overprotection and supportive behaviors.

Methods

A sample of 399 parents (84.2% mothers) of children aged between 6 and 13 years completed self-report questionnaires assessing neuroticism, children’s negative reactivity, mindful parenting, parental overprotection, and support of children’s coping behaviors. A path model was tested through structural equation modeling.

Results

Parents’ and children’s tendency to experience negative affect were shown to be associated with lower levels of all mindful parenting dimensions. Parents’ neuroticism was shown to be directly associated with greater overprotection. In addition, parents’ neuroticism and children’s negative reactivity were both shown to be indirectly associated with lower levels of overprotection and supportive behaviors through lower levels of compassion towards the child and of emotional awareness of the child. In contrast, parents’ neuroticism and children’s negative reactivity were indirectly associated with a greater overprotection through lower levels of nonjudgmental acceptance of parental functioning.

Conclusions

This study provides insight into how the temperamental tendency to experience stronger and more frequent negative emotions can contribute to parental overprotection and the parental support of children’s coping behaviors. Mindful parenting dimensions seem to shape the way neuroticism and children’s reactivity are associated with overprotection and supportive behaviors.

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