The Association Between Self-Critical Rumination and Parenting Stress: The Mediating Role of Mindful Parenting
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Self-critical rumination is a type of rumination focused on the content of self-critical thoughts. Although self-criticism and rumination are two maladaptive psychological processes with a negative effect on parenting, including parenting stress, the role of self-critical rumination on parenting outcomes has never been explored. The aim of this study is to analyze the role of self-critical rumination on parenting stress and examine whether mindful parenting dimensions (listening with full attention, compassion for the child, non-judgmental acceptance of parental functioning, emotional awareness of the child, and self-regulation in parenting) mediate this association. The moderating role of child’s age in the direct and indirect effects was also examined. A sample of 265 Portuguese mothers of children/adolescents from the general community completed measures of self-critical rumination, mindful parenting, and parenting stress. Self-critical rumination was negatively associated with all mindful parenting dimensions and positively associated with parenting stress. However, only non-judgmental acceptance of parental functioning and emotional awareness of the child dimensions were significant mediators of the relationship between self-critical rumination and parenting stress. The link between self-critical rumination and parenting stress as well as the indirect effects were not moderated by the child’s age. This study identifies an important maladaptive psychological process (self-critical rumination) that explains individual differences in parenting and a mechanism that may account for the link between self-critical rumination and parenting stress, which can both be modified through intervention.
KeywordsSelf-critical rumination Mindful parenting Parenting stress Mothers
H.M. conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, participated in the data collection, performed the statistical analysis, and worte the manuscript; M.C.C. revised the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This study was funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology [Grant n° SFRH/BPD/70063/2010]
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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. The Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Coimbra approved the study.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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