Title

Mindfulness, Parenting Efficacy and Child Age: Does the Facet of Mindfulness Matter?

Proposal Focus

Research

Abstract

Mindfulness research has historically focused on individual benefits (e.g., Brown & Ryan, 2003), yet more recently also has considered relational outcomes influenced by mindfulness, such as romantic relationship quality (e.g., McGill, Adler-Baeder, & Rodriguez, 2015) and parent-child relationship quality (e.g., Coatsworth et al., 2016). Overall, mindfulness research has assessed global measures of mindfulness and does not consider the distinct elements of mindfulness and their relationship with various outcomes. Based on the assumption that there are multiple components of mindfulness, Baer and colleagues (2006) delineated and validated a measure of five facets of mindfulness. With a growing trend of incorporating mindfulness into prevention programs for parents (Cohen & Semple, 2010), it is valuable to examine the relationship between parenting outcomes and facets of mindfulness. Specifically, our research questions are:

  1. Are facets of mindfulness related at baseline to parenting efficacy and do some facets of mindfulness have a stronger association with parenting efficacy than others?
  2. Does initial change in mindfulness dimensions (after exposure to relationship education) result in subsequent change in parenting efficacy?
  3. Does the age of the child(ren) affect these relationships?

Parents (n=578 parents—308 mothers, 270 fathers) were recruited as part of a larger randomized control trial (RCT) examining the program effectiveness of couple relationship education programs. Measures utilized include the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersmann, 1978) and three subscales—nonreactivity to inner experience, acting with awareness, and nonjudging of inner experience—from the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer, & Toney, 2006). Analyses utilized three waves of data—baseline, 6-week and 6-month follow-up. We utilized linear regression to test for a relationship at baseline between the three facets of mindfulness and parenting efficacy for both mothers and fathers, separately. Level of parenting efficacy was predicted by nonreactivity to inner experiences for mothers (β=.184, p=.001) and fathers (β=.126, p=.03) and by acting with awareness for mothers (β=.192, p=.004) and fathers (β=.179, p=.009), accounting for other variables in the model. Nonjudging of inner experience marginally predicted level of parenting efficacy for fathers (β=.127, p=.058), but not for mothers (β=.053, p=.421), considering all other variables in the model. Path models were conducted using only the program participant group (n=370 parents). We tested with mothers and fathers separately whether initial change in three facets of mindfulness predicted change in parenting efficacy six months after couples relationship education intervention. Positive change in nonreactivity to inner experience for fathers after intervention was significantly (β=.150, p=.041) associated with positive change in parenting efficacy six months later.

Our cross-sectional findings suggest that the facets of mindfulness are not equally predictive of parenting efficacy. The findings from our path models suggest that enhanced nonreactivity to inner experience promotes greater parenting efficacy six months after receiving relationship education for fathers. This is an important first step to discovering what aspects of mindfulness may be particularly important for educators to emphasize when teaching mindfulness to parents. Final analyses presented in March will test if the age of the child(ren) affects these findings.

Keywords

parenting, mindfulness, relationship education

Location

Tiger I

Start Date

9-3-2018 9:15 AM

End Date

9-3-2018 10:00 AM

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Mar 9th, 9:15 AM Mar 9th, 10:00 AM

Mindfulness, Parenting Efficacy and Child Age: Does the Facet of Mindfulness Matter?

Tiger I

Mindfulness research has historically focused on individual benefits (e.g., Brown & Ryan, 2003), yet more recently also has considered relational outcomes influenced by mindfulness, such as romantic relationship quality (e.g., McGill, Adler-Baeder, & Rodriguez, 2015) and parent-child relationship quality (e.g., Coatsworth et al., 2016). Overall, mindfulness research has assessed global measures of mindfulness and does not consider the distinct elements of mindfulness and their relationship with various outcomes. Based on the assumption that there are multiple components of mindfulness, Baer and colleagues (2006) delineated and validated a measure of five facets of mindfulness. With a growing trend of incorporating mindfulness into prevention programs for parents (Cohen & Semple, 2010), it is valuable to examine the relationship between parenting outcomes and facets of mindfulness. Specifically, our research questions are:

  1. Are facets of mindfulness related at baseline to parenting efficacy and do some facets of mindfulness have a stronger association with parenting efficacy than others?
  2. Does initial change in mindfulness dimensions (after exposure to relationship education) result in subsequent change in parenting efficacy?
  3. Does the age of the child(ren) affect these relationships?

Parents (n=578 parents—308 mothers, 270 fathers) were recruited as part of a larger randomized control trial (RCT) examining the program effectiveness of couple relationship education programs. Measures utilized include the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersmann, 1978) and three subscales—nonreactivity to inner experience, acting with awareness, and nonjudging of inner experience—from the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer, & Toney, 2006). Analyses utilized three waves of data—baseline, 6-week and 6-month follow-up. We utilized linear regression to test for a relationship at baseline between the three facets of mindfulness and parenting efficacy for both mothers and fathers, separately. Level of parenting efficacy was predicted by nonreactivity to inner experiences for mothers (β=.184, p=.001) and fathers (β=.126, p=.03) and by acting with awareness for mothers (β=.192, p=.004) and fathers (β=.179, p=.009), accounting for other variables in the model. Nonjudging of inner experience marginally predicted level of parenting efficacy for fathers (β=.127, p=.058), but not for mothers (β=.053, p=.421), considering all other variables in the model. Path models were conducted using only the program participant group (n=370 parents). We tested with mothers and fathers separately whether initial change in three facets of mindfulness predicted change in parenting efficacy six months after couples relationship education intervention. Positive change in nonreactivity to inner experience for fathers after intervention was significantly (β=.150, p=.041) associated with positive change in parenting efficacy six months later.

Our cross-sectional findings suggest that the facets of mindfulness are not equally predictive of parenting efficacy. The findings from our path models suggest that enhanced nonreactivity to inner experience promotes greater parenting efficacy six months after receiving relationship education for fathers. This is an important first step to discovering what aspects of mindfulness may be particularly important for educators to emphasize when teaching mindfulness to parents. Final analyses presented in March will test if the age of the child(ren) affects these findings.