Mindfulness-based wellbeing for socio-economically disadvantaged parents: a pre-post pilot study

Date16 March 2015
Publication Date16 March 2015
AuthorCatrin Eames,Rebecca Crane,Eluned Gold,Sophie Pratt
SubjectHealth & social care,Vulnerable groups,Children's services
Mindfulness-based wellbeing for
socio-economically disadvantaged
parents: a pre-post pilot study
Catrin Eames, Rebecca Crane, Eluned Gold and Sophie Pratt
Dr Catrin Eames is Research
Officer, at the School of
Psychology, Bangor University,
Bangor, UK and Lecturer,
at the Institute of Psychology,
Health and Society, University
of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
Rebecca Crane is Director at
the Centre for Mindfulness
Research and Practice, Bangor
University, Bangor, UK.
Eluned Gold is Head of
CPPD, at the Centre
for Mindfulness Research
and Practice, Bangor
University, Bangor, UK.
Sophie Pratt is based at the
Besti Cadwaladr University
Health Board, NHS,
Caernarfon, UK.
Purpose Behavioural parent training (PT) interventions partially mediate risk factors for the development
of child behavioural problems. Mindfulness skills could have benefit in alleviating the impact of these risk
factors for parents who are socio-economically disadvantaged. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Design/methodology/approach A pre-post single group comparison of disadvantaged mothers
attending the Mindfulness-Based Wellbeing for Parents (MBW-P) programme.
Findings Changes were observed in facets of parental stress (Parenting Stress Index-Short Form; Abidin,
1995), depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II; Beck et al., 1996) and brooding (Ruminative Responses
Scale; Nolen-Hoeksema and Morrow, 1991), with moderate to large effect sizes and incidences of clinical
Research limitations/implications The research design, although pragmatic, includes a small sample
and no control or long-term comparison group.
Social implications Mothers considered as the hardest to reachgroup in terms of vulnerability, risk
factors and being likely to gain from intervention demonstrated positive shifts post-intervention. A targeted
mindfulness-based intervention, delivered pragmatically within a health service context, may have benefit in
reducing the impact of risk factors on parental wellbeing.
Originality/value To the authorsknowledge, this is the first evaluation of a targeted mindfulness group
delivered within routine health care settings, in identified high riskareas, by routine staff.
Keywords Mindfulness, Wellbeing, Depression, Child behaviour, Parental stress, Parenting
Paper type Research paper
Parent training (PT) programmes, whilst identified as the most successful interventions for
conduct problems both in clinical and preventative settings (Beauchaine et al., 2005; Brestan
and Eyberg, 1998; Kazdin, 1997; Hutchings et al., 2007), are not effective for all families.
Meta-analyses conducted by Lundahl, Risser and Lovejoy (2006) and Reyno and McGrath
(2006) both conclude that children of disadvantaged parents, including children of single
parents, of low income, and children of parents experiencing depression demonstrate poorer
PT intervention outcomes as compared to those children whose parents face lower levels of
adversity. Moreover, children are at greater risk of developing disruptive behaviour patterns when
living in a socio-economic disadvantaged circumstances (Attride-Stirling et al., 2000; Bloomquist
and Schnell, 2002; Webster-Stratton and Herbert, 1994), with prevalence for child conduct
problems rising to an estimated 20 per cent for children living in disadvantaged areas, and 37
per cent for looked after childrenwithin foster care, in the UK (Attride-Stirling et al., 2000;
Tapsfield and Collier, 2005). Children and parents living in these circumstances are therefore
considered both at highest risk, and as least likely to gain benefit from PT interventions.
The authors would like to thank
the families and staff who both
took part in, and supported,
this project. Special thanks to
Tom Clarke, Samantha Humphries,
Duncan Lewinski, Sarah Robb
and Luke Squires for their
research support.
DOI 10.1108/JCS-09-2014-0040 VOL. 10 NO. 1 2015, pp. 17-28, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1746-6660
PAG E 17

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