An initial evaluation of a mindful parenting program
A growing number of children are experiencing marital transition. The effects of divorce on children have typically been considered deleterious, although factors can buffer the difficulty of postdivorce adjustment. One of these factors is a positive relationship with a parental figure. Unfortunately, divorce often overwhelms parents with a series of changes that compromise their parenting skills. One new approach to improving parenting after divorce is mindful parenting, which aims to enhance interpersonal and emotional connection in the parent–child relationship. This program is intended to facilitate parents' self-awareness, their mindfulness, and their intentionality in responding to their child's needs. The present study reports on the implementation of the Mindful Parenting Program, delivered in two groups to 12 recently divorced parents with preschool-aged children. Program effectiveness was conducted on two levels. First, mindfulness measured by the Toronto Mindfulness Scale revealed significant increases over the intervention and posttest period. Second, in-home behavioral observations conducted pre- and postintervention revealed no changes in parent–child relationships. These findings are discussed within the larger context of facilitating effective parenting postdivorce. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 63: 1231–1238, 2007.