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Mindful Parenting, Parenting Cognitions, and Parent-Youth Communication: Bidirectional Linkages and Mediational Processes

  • Melissa A. LippoldEmail author
  • Todd M. Jensen
  • Larissa G. Duncan
  • Robert L. Nix
  • J. Douglas Coatsworth
  • Mark T. Greenberg



Mindful parenting and parenting cognitions likely have important linkages to each other and to parent-child communication, but these linkages have not been tested. In this article, we test the bidirectional linkages between mindful parenting and parenting cognitions (sense of competence, parent-centered attributions) and the underlying mediational processes that link them to parent-child communication (parental solicitation and youth disclosure).


Longitudinal, autoregressive cross-lagged models were run within a longitudinal sample of rural and suburban early adolescents and their mothers (n = 421; mean adolescent age = 12.14, 46% male, 73% white).


Significant bidirectional linkages were found between mindful parenting and parenting cognitions across Time 1 and Time 2. Greater mindful parenting at Time 1 was associated with more positive parenting cognitions (e.g., greater perceptions of parental competence and fewer negative parent-centered attributions or self-blame) at Time 2. More positive parenting cognitions at Time 1 were also associated with greater levels of mindful parenting at Time 2. Mindful parenting at Time 2 mediated the association between parenting cognitions (both parent-centered attributions and sense of competence) at Time 1 and parental solicitation at Time 3.


Mindful parenting and parenting cognitions influence each other over time. Parenting cognitions can affect parental solicitation via increases in mindful parenting. The discussion focuses on potential underlying processes.


Mindfulness Mindful parenting Adolescent disclosure Parental monitoring Parenting cognitions Parenting efficacy Parenting attributions 


Author Contributions

ML designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the manuscript. TJ conducted the data analyses and aided in the interpretation of study findings and the writing of the manuscript. LD aided in the design and conceptualization of the study, the interpretation of findings, and the writing of the manuscript. RN, JDC, and MG were involved in the conceptualization of the study and collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.


Work on this article was supported by the National Institutes of Health through research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (1 R01 DA026217), Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R03 HD087611), and a career award to Larissa Duncan from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (1 K01 AT005270). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All protocols were approved by the Institutional Review Board at The Pennsylvania State University.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa A. Lippold
    • 1
    Email author
  • Todd M. Jensen
    • 1
  • Larissa G. Duncan
    • 2
  • Robert L. Nix
    • 2
  • J. Douglas Coatsworth
    • 3
  • Mark T. Greenberg
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Social WorkThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Human Development and Family StudiesThe University of Wisconsin at MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  4. 4.Human Development and Family StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA

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