An online mindful parenting training for mothers raising toddlers: Assessment of acceptability, effectiveness, and personal goals

Myrthe Boekhorst*, Lianne Hulsbosch, Ivan Nyklicek, V.R.M. Spek, Anna Kastelein, Susan Bögels, Victor Pop, Eva Potharst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives
Mindful parenting (MP) interventions show promising results, but they mostly target parents (of children) with mental health problems. This study examined an online MP intervention for mothers with toddlers in a population-based sample. Aims were to assess acceptability and effectiveness of the intervention for mothers with and without parental stress, and examine their predetermined personal goals.

Methods
The study included 157 mothers with toddlers from the general population of whom 73 reported parental stress. The mothers participated in an 8-week online MP training. Questionnaires were completed at waitlist, pretest, posttest, and follow-up.

Results
Mothers rated the training positively, although only 23.1% completed the training. Personal goals were analyzed qualitatively, establishing four different themes: attention, well-being, patience, and balance. Significant improvements in personal goals posttest and follow-up were found (large and very large effect size, respectively). We found no significant improvements from waitlist to pretest for all outcome variables, except personal goals (medium effect size). Mixed-linear model analyses showed significant improvements posttest and follow-up as compared to pretest regarding Self-compassion, Parental over-reactivity and Symptoms of anxiety and depression (small to medium effect sizes). There was an effect at posttest for Parenting problems, and for Parental role restriction at follow-up (small effect sizes). Levels of parental stress and theme of personal goal did not influence the effectiveness of the intervention.

Conclusions
The current study provides initial evidence that an online MP training could be an easily accessible, inexpensive, and valuable intervention for parents without an indication for a therapist-assisted intervention.

Trial Registration
Dutch Trial Register (NTR7401)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-531
JournalMindfulness
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • CARE
  • DISORDERS
  • FATHERS
  • INTERPERSONAL MINDFULNESS
  • INTERVENTIONS
  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • Mindful parenting
  • Online intervention
  • PARENTHOOD
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • Parental stress
  • Personal goals
  • Population-based sample
  • SCALE
  • STRESS

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