Methods: 432 families of 6th and 7th graders from four communities were randomly assigned to MSFP, SFP or a home study control condition and assessed at baseline, post-intervention and one-year follow-up. Families were primarily European-American (69%) two-parent (66%) with median annual income of $49,000. Fifty-four percent of youth were female; average age was 12.14 (SD = .67). Youth and parents reported on parent mindfulness, parenting practices/child management strategies, and parent-youth relationship quality. Parents reported on parenting stress, parenting self-efficacy and overall well-being.
Results: HLM analyses were used to investigate program effects at post-test and 12-month follow-up. The intervention was conceptualized as enhancing parent-child relationship, reducing parental stress and assisting parents with behavior management. Results from intent to treat analyses indicate significant effects on mindful parenting (ES = .24-.46) support and understanding of their youth (ES = .22) monitoring (ES = .26) and parenting stress (ES = -.33), that differ across time (post-intervention vs. follow-up) and by parent. SEM analyses indicate that changes in mindful parenting are associated with changes in parenting strategies and youth behaviors. Effects of mindful parenting on youth behaviors are partially mediated by positive parenting practices and relationship quality. To address questions of this symposium, we also explore effects by dosage.
Conclusions: Results from one of the few RCTs testing a mindfulness-informed family intervention provides evidence for the efficacy of mindfulness-informed interventions to change parenting practices and parent-youth relationship quality. Results also suggest the benefit of engaging fathers into interventions. We describe how infusing brief, practical mindfulness activities into behaviorally focused parenting interventions may enhance program effects.