Emerging evidence supports the positive effects of mindful parenting as a clinical intervention in the context of child psychopathology; however, previous studies have not considered the specific parenting predictors of improvements in child outcomes.
Parents accessing a child and youth secondary mental health care center participated in an 8-week mindful parenting training (n = 89). The effects of the mindful parenting training were assessed on parent-reported child’s psychopathology, parents’ own psychopathology, mindfulness, and parenting factors from pre- to post-intervention, 8-week and 1-year follow-up.
Multi-level analyses indicated immediate and delayed improvements in most child and parent outcomes. Changes in experiential avoidance in parenting partially predicted improvements in child internalizing problems. In combination with mindful parenting, experiential avoidance in parenting fully accounted for improvements in child attention problems. Changes in parental over-reactivity fully accounted for improvements in child externalizing problems.
The mindful parenting training successfully improved the targeted (mindful) parenting factors, which in turn predicted improvements across different child outcomes.