Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Parents of Children with Autism

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently report poor psychological well-being.

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of brief mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) on perceived stress, anxiety, and depression among parents of children with ASD in Jordan.

After the intervention program, the one-way analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) indicated that parents in the intervention group had better outcomes on the measures of psychological well-being and mindfulness than those in the comparison group (P < 0.01). Furthermore, results of paired samples t test indicated that parents in the intervention group demonstrated significant improvements in measures of stress, anxiety, depression, and mindfulness scores with medium to large effect size (Cohen d between 0.42 and 0.85, P < 0.01).

Although the comparison group demonstrated small improvement in measures of the dependent variables, these improvements were much less than improvements in the intervention group. The MBIs are culturally adaptable, feasible, and effective interventions to improve psychological well-being in parents of children with ASD.

Full reference: Rayan, A. & Ahmad, M. (2017) Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Perceived Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Among Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mindfulness. 8(677)

 

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Mindfulness and attachment styles through mother and infant interaction

Recently, research has focused on mindfulness as a potential variable to interrupt the transmission of insecure attachment and disrupt its effect across generations. | Infant Mental Health Journal

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Thirty-six regnant female participants completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire and Relationship Questionnaire-Clinical Version at 30 weeks’ gestation. Following the infant’s birth, mothers and their babies participated in a video-recorded feeding session at 7 to 10 weeks’ postpartum. It was predicted that a secure attachment style and higher levels of mindfulness measured prenatally would be associated with greater maternal responsiveness postpartum. The hypothesis was supported for both the secure and insecure (fearful and profoundly distrustful) attachment styles. Mindfulness did not mediate the relationship between attachment and maternal distress. The mindfulness subscale Non-Reacting was significantly associated with maternal response to distress. These findings support the role of prenatal mindfulness skills and attachment security for later postnatal maternal sensitivity to baby.

Full reference: Pickard, J.A. et al. (2017) Observing the influence of mindfulness and attachment styles through mother and infant interaction: A longitudinal study Infant Mental Health Journal. DOI: 10.1002/imhj.21645

Mindfulness training for parents of children with special needs

Petcharat, M. & Liehr, P. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing | Published online: 27 April 2017

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Problem: Parents of children with special needs encounter specific challenges in carrying out their caregiving roles. They experience difficulty accepting their children due to unrealistically high expectations. Mindfulness training (MT) may increase parental psychological well-being and acceptance.

Objective: The purpose of this article is to examine the evidence-base for the effectiveness of MT in enhancing psychological well-being for parents of children with special needs as a foundation for guidance for nurses in mental health practice.

Findings: The studies indicated that cultivating a more mindful way of parenting is associated with reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. Parents experienced increased mindful awareness and improved psychological well-being, and they were more accepting of their children. Their children also had fewer behavior problems and enhanced positive interaction with their parents. Because mindfulness interventions fall within the scope of independent nursing practice, nurses can play a significant role in applying mindfulness to promote psychological well-being in parents who have children with special needs.

Read the full abstract here

Mindful Parenting Group Training for Mothers and Their Babies

Potharst, E.S. et al. Mindfulness | Published online: 13 April 2017

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Many mothers experience difficulties after the birth of a baby. Mindful parenting may have benefits for mothers and babies, because it can help mothers regulate stress, and be more attentive towards themselves and their babies, which may have positive effects on their responsivity. This study examined the effectiveness of Mindful with your baby, an 8-week mindful parenting group training for mothers with their babies.

Read the full article here