Session: Theoretical and Practical Issues in Mindfulness-Informed Behavioral Parent Training Programs: What Did We Learn and Where Should We Go Next? (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

4-026 Theoretical and Practical Issues in Mindfulness-Informed Behavioral Parent Training Programs: What Did We Learn and Where Should We Go Next?

Friday, May 31, 2019: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Marina Room (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
Theme: Development and Testing of Interventions
Symposium Organizer:
Na Zhang
Mark T. Greenberg
Recently, studies on mindfulness have proliferated rapidly, including research testing mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for parents. In addition to investigating the effects of MBIs, in which the teaching of mindfulness is the central principle, researchers are beginning to study “mindfulness-informed behavioral parent training programs (MI-BPTs)." In MI-BPTs, mindfulness practices are not central, but they are integrated into existing evidence-based BPTs to optimize the intervention effects. However, this field is in its infancy; it is unclear to what degree mindfulness enhances the effects of BPTs and whether the inclusion of mindfulness strengthens program effects on parents’ wellbeing, improves parent-child relationships and parenting skills, or reduces children’s socioemotional and behavioral problems.

The goal of the symposium is to advance this area of research by using three examples of MI-BPTs and highlighting the potential mechanisms by which mindfulness may optimize intervention outcomes of existing BPTs. Each presenter will address important theoretical and practical issues concerning the development, evaluation, and/or implementation of the MI-BPT in a specific context.

The first presentation is a prevention program for parentally bereaved families with a child ages 3-18 years. This program is based on the Family Bereavement Program (FBP), which has been shown to improve parental mental health, parenting, and child outcomes in a randomized controlled trial. The FBP is being adapted to integrate self-compassion and mindfulness and to increase its ease of use in community settings. The presenter will discuss issues related to the development of the adapted program, and present pre-intervention data.

The second presentation is a prevention program for families with a 4-13-year-old and a military parent who had been deployed to war zones in the Middle East, known as After Deployment Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT). ADAPT was developed based on Parent Management Training – Oregon model (PMTO), a theory-driven, evidence-based BPT for preventing children’ conduct problems. The presenter will discuss the findings from a randomized controlled trial regarding the relations of mindfulness to parental mental health and parenting, and the use of mindfulness for improving parental emotion regulation.

The third presentation is a universal prevention program for families with a child ages 10-14 years. The Strengthening Families Program (SFP 10-14) has shown efficacy in improving parenting, enhancing youth development, and preventing youth problem behaviors. The presenter will discuss findings from a three-arm randomized trial, comparing the Mindfulness-Enhanced SFP 10-14, the SFP 10-14, and a home-study group, and pinpoint how infusing brief, practical mindfulness activities may enhance program effects.

At the end of the presentations, the discussant will synthesize what we have learned from these programs, highlight the promises and challenges of integrating mindfulness into existing BPTs, and suggest future directions.

* noted as presenting author
Integration of Self-Compassion into an Evidence-Based Parenting Program for Bereaved Families
Irwin N. Sandler, PhD, Arizona State University; Na Zhang, PhD, Arizona State University; Sharlene Wolchik, Ph.D., Arizona State University
Effects of a Mindfulness-Informed Military Parent Training Program on Mothers’ and Fathers’ Emotion Regulation
Abigail H. Gewirtz, PhD, LP, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Na Zhang, PhD, Arizona State University; Jingchen Zhang, MA, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Mindfulness-Enhanced Strengthening Families Program 10-14: Differential Effects and Mediation for Mothers and Fathers
Doug Coatsworth, PhD, Colorado State University; Larissa G. Duncan, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Robert L. Nix, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Mark T. Greenberg, PhD, The Pennsylvania State University