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03-09-2018 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 2/2021 Open Access

Mindfulness 2/2021

Mindful Parenting Training in a Clinical Versus Non-Clinical Setting: An Explorative Study

Mindfulness > Uitgave 2/2021
Eva S. Potharst, Jeanine M. D. Baartmans, Susan M. Bögels


Mindful parenting (MP) as a group-based training for parents of clinically referred children with psychopathology has shown to effectively reduce child and parent mental health problems. This study investigated the effects of MP as a “preventive” intervention for parents who experienced parental stress or problems in parenting (non-clinical setting) compared to MP as a “curative” intervention (clinical setting). Parents from a non-clinical setting (n = 98, 18% fathers) and a clinical setting (n = 87, 21% fathers) completed questionnaires about themselves, their partner relationship, and their child at waitlist (non-clinical setting only), pre-test, post-test, and 8-week follow-up. Before the intervention, the children of parents in the non-clinical setting, as expected, showed higher well-being and lower behavior problems, but parental stress levels, parental overreactivity, mindful parenting, partner relationship, and parental well-being were no different in the clinical and preventive group pre-intervention. No improvement was observed at waitlist, except for parental well-being, while improvement on parent and child functioning measures did occur after MP. No differences in MP effects in both settings were found in improved parental functioning (parental stress, overreactivity, mindful parenting, partner relationship, and well-being [small to medium effect size improvements]) and child functioning (well-being and behavior problems, small effect size improvements). Improvements in child functioning were associated with improved mindful parenting. Results suggest that MP training may be an effective intervention not only for families of children referred to mental health care because of child mental disorders but also for parents who experience parental stress or parenting problems as it is.

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