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15-03-2016 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 3/2016 Open Access

Mindfulness 3/2016

Mindful Parenting Training in Child Psychiatric Settings: Heightened Parental Mindfulness Reduces Parents’ and Children’s Psychopathology

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness > Uitgave 3/2016
Auteurs:
Renée Meppelink, Esther I. de Bruin, Femy H. Wanders-Mulder, Corinne J. Vennik, Susan M. Bögels

Abstract

Mindful parenting training is an application of mindfulness-based interventions that allows parents to perceive their children with unbiased and open attention without prejudgment and become more attentive and less reactive in their parenting. This study examined the effectiveness of mindful parenting training in a clinical setting on child and parental psychopathology and of mindfulness as a predictor of these outcomes. Seventy parents of 70 children (mean age = 8.7) who were referred to a mental health care clinic because of their children’s psychopathology participated in an 8-week mindful parenting training. Parents completed questionnaires at pre-test, post-test and 8-week follow-up. A significant decrease was found in children’s and parents’ psychopathology and a significant increase in mindful parenting and in general mindful awareness. Improvement in general mindful awareness, but not mindful parenting, was found to predict a reduction in parental psychopathology, whereas improvement in mindful parenting, but not general mindful awareness, predicted the reduction of child psychopathology. This study adds to the emerging body of evidence indicating that mindful parenting training is effective for parents themselves and, indirectly, for their children suffering from psychopathology. As parents’ increased mindful parenting, but not increased general mindfulness, is found to predict child psychopathology, mindful parenting training rather than general mindfulness training appears to be the training of choice. However, RCTs comparing mindful parenting to general mindfulness training and to parent management training are needed in order to shed more light on the effects of mindful parenting and mechanisms of change.

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