Is Mindful Parenting Associated With Adolescents' Well-being in Early and Middle/Late Adolescence? The Mediating Role of Adolescents' Attachment Representations, Self-Compassion and Mindfulness

J Youth Adolesc. 2018 Aug;47(8):1771-1788. doi: 10.1007/s10964-018-0808-7. Epub 2018 Feb 1.


There is some evidence that mindful parenting, a parenting approach that involves the practice of bringing mindful awareness to the parent-child relationship, is associated with several positive psychosocial outcomes in adolescents. However, only a few studies have investigated the mechanisms that may underlie that association. This study explores whether the link between mindful parenting and adolescents' well-being is mediated by adolescents' attachment representations, self-compassion and mindfulness skills. The sample comprised 563 parent-child dyads (95.6% mothers). Adolescents (61.5% girls) had a mean age of 14.26 years (SD = 1.66, range = 12-20). Parents completed a measure of mindful parenting, and adolescents completed measures of attachment representations, self-compassion, mindfulness, and well-being. Mindful parenting was indirectly associated with adolescents' self-compassion and mindfulness through a more secure perception of the relationship with the parents, and was indirectly associated with adolescents' well-being through perceived attachment security, self-compassion and mindfulness. The path model was invariant across stages of adolescence but some relations in the model varied across gender. Self-compassion and mindfulness seem to develop within a parent-child relationship characterized by affection, self-regulation, and mindful awareness. These two resources, along with mindful parenting and positive representations of the parent-child relationship, are associated with adolescents' well-being.

Keywords: Adolescence; Attachment representations; Mindful parenting; Mindfulness; Self-compassion; Well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development
  • Child Welfare / psychology*
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mindfulness*
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*