Mindful Parenting in the Development and Maintenance of Youth Psychopathology

Justin D. Smith and Thomas J. Dishion

Transdiagnostic models of family process focus on the shared dynamics, functions, and structure of interaction patterns related to various forms of youth psychopathology. The promise of a transdiagnostic approach lies in the development of prevention and intervention strategies that address multiple adjustment difficulties in children and adolescents (Chu, 2012; Dishion & Stormshak, 2007). In this chapter we propose mindful parenting as a superordinate construct that describes parents’ efforts to self-regulate their own emotions, needs, and automatic reaction patterns in the interest of promoting the short- and long-term well-being of their children. While developing interventions for families, our research team at the Child and Family Center has organized family management into three broad domains: positive behavior support, healthy limit setting and parental monitoring, and family relationship building (Dishion, Stormshak, & Kavanagh, 2012). In this chapter we have organized our discussion of mindful parenting into a brief review of these domains as they apply to the concept of mindful parenting in transdiagnostic models of youth psychopathology. The chapter culminates with a critical analysis of the current state of research in this area and with proposed future directions for empirical inquiry.

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