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10-12-2018 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 2/2021 Open Access

Mindfulness 2/2021

Mindful With Your Toddler Group Training: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Effects on Subjective and Objective Measures

Mindfulness > Uitgave 2/2021
Eva S. Potharst, Moniek Zeegers, Susan M. Bögels
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Eva S. Potharst and Moniek Zeegers contributed equally to this work.


This study examined the effectiveness of Mindful with your toddler, a 9-week mindful parenting group training for mother–toddler dyads experiencing (co-)regulation difficulties. Eighteen clinically referred mothers and toddlers (18–48 months) with (co-)regulation problems participated in groups, each comprising three to six dyads. At waitlist, pretest, and post-test, mothers completed questionnaires on parenting (overreactivity, parental stress, sense of incompetence), psychopathology (internalizing and externalizing), partner relationship, mindful parenting (listening with full attention, compassion for child, non-judgmental acceptance of parental functioning), mindfulness (acting with awareness, non-judging of inner experience, non-reactivity), self-compassion, and child outcomes (psychopathology and dysregulation) and mother–toddler freeplay observations were conducted, and coded for maternal sensitivity and acceptance. Questionnaires were completed again at 2-month and 8-month follow-up. No significant differences occurred between waitlist and pretest, except for a deterioration in listening with full attention and an improvement in compassion for child. Between pretest and post-test, observed maternal sensitivity and acceptance improved (medium effect sizes). Child psychopathology, maternal listening with full attention, acting with awareness, non-reactivity, and self-compassion also improved (medium effect sizes). Effects were stable or further improved during follow-up (medium/large effect sizes). Improvement in child dysregulation, maternal internalizing psychopathology, maternal stress, sense of parental incompetence, non-judgmental acceptance of parental functioning, and non-judging of inner experience was only seen at 2- and 8-month follow-up (medium/large effect sizes). No changes in maternal externalizing psychopathology, overreactivity, compassion for child, and partner relationship occurred. Mindful with your toddler is a promising intervention for mothers with toddlers with (co-)regulation problems.

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