Parenting Impacts from a Mindfulness-Based Pilot Intervention for Families Facing Pediatric Chronic Pain

  • Beth S. RussellEmail author
  • Jessica W. Guite
Original Paper



The current project examines parenting style and common psychological stressors specific to parenting behavior reported among parents of an adolescent with chronic pain. Parents provide crucial pragmatic and emotional supports for adolescents’ engagement in healthcare behaviors and may also experience significant emotional distress around caring for adolescents with chronic pain. Families coping with pediatric chronic health conditions often report more negative family dynamics, characterized by simultaneously unresponsive and demanding parenting behaviors, than families with healthy children.


Participating parents completed the “Parents as Coping Coaches (PaCC),” 3-session, group intervention developed to directly support parent individual needs and parenting behavior.


Findings suggest that parent participation in the newly developed PaCC intervention was significantly related to reductions in parenting experiences associated with caring for the adolescent and parent-reported authoritarian parenting style.


Significant differences seen pre- to post-intervention suggest that parent experiences and parenting behaviors are amenable intervention targets.


Parenting Parent intervention Pediatric chronic pain 



We are deeply grateful to the families who participated in PaCC and kindly gave their time, energy, and opinions to this effort. We also thank the research team members at both partner institutions, including Christine Ohannessian, PhD, and William Zempsky, MD, for their support, and Anne Thompson Heller, LMFT, and Ruth Freeman, LCSW, for their facilitation efforts. This project was supported by a 2015 University of Connecticut Institute for Collaboration in Health Intervention & Policy—Connecticut Children’s Medical Center dual-Principal Investigator Seed Grant.

Author Contributions

B.S.R. designed and executed the study in full partnership with all coauthors, completed the data analyses, and wrote the paper. J.W.G. designed and executed the study in full partnership with all coauthors, collaborated on the analysis and writing of the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Institutional Review Boards at the University of Connecticut and CT Children’s Medical Center approved all study materials.

Informed Consent

All Participants gave informed consent prior to enrolling in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Development Family & SciencesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut School of Medicine & Center for Behavioral HealthConnecticut Children’s Medical CenterHartfordUSA

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