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Mindful Parenting: A Call for Research

Abstract

Interest in mindfulness-based interventions for children and adolescents is growing, but despite substantial evidence that parental distress and psychopathology adversely affects children, there is little research on how mindfulness-based parenting interventions might benefit the child as well as the parent. As an established intervention for prevention of depressive relapse, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) conducted with parents is an intervention that potentially could improve parent–child relationships, reduce child symptoms, and promote healthy child development. Mindful parenting interventions bring mindful attention directly to parent–child interactions and are similar but not identical to existing clinical mindfulness interventions such as MBCT. Mindfulness-based parenting interventions have an interpersonal, rather than intrapsychic focus, with particular attention given to the parent–child relationship. Preliminary research suggests that this intervention approach may reduce stress, enhance parenting satisfaction, decrease child aggression, and increase children’s prosocial behaviors. Initial evidence supporting the effectiveness of mindful parenting programs is promising and supports our call for ongoing research.

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Correspondence to Jeanette A. Sawyer Cohen.

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Sawyer Cohen, J.A., Semple, R.J. Mindful Parenting: A Call for Research. J Child Fam Stud 19, 145–151 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-009-9285-7

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Parenting
  • Children
  • Depression
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy