Changes in mindful parenting: Associations with changes in parenting, parent–Youth relationship quality, and youth behavior

J. Douglas Coatsworth, Zachary Timpe, Robert L. Nix, Larissa G. Duncan, Mark T. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: There is growing interest in mindful parenting and how this form of intentional, compassionate interactions with youth are associated with developmental outcomes. We investigated how mindful parenting changes over time, either naturally or in response to interventions, and how that change is associated with other proximal developmental changes. Method: We used data from a longitudinal, randomized-controlled study design (N = 432 families) to investigate the associations between changes in mindful parenting and 3 outcomes: positive parenting, parent–youth relationship quality, and youth aggression. Differences across 3 intervention conditions and between mothers and fathers were tested. Results: Across conditions, changes in mindful parenting were strongly associated with changes in all 3 outcomes for both fathers and mothers. Changes in mindful parenting showed considerable variability within and across conditions. For fathers, differences in mindful parenting change were driven primarily by changes in the core mindful parenting dimension of emotional awareness. Mothers showed comparable changes in mindful parenting across conditions. Conclusions: Findings illustrate how changes in mindful parenting are associated with proximal changes that could lead to reduced youth behavior problems (e.g., aggression or substance use) and provide additional evidence for the contribution that mindfulness activities can make to standard parent training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-529
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Society for Social Work and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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