Maternal mindfulness and child social behavior: The mediating role of the mother-child relationship.


Mindfulness is defined as moment-by-moment social awareness derived from a non-judgmental, friendly, and receptive attitude. Previous research suggested that mindfulness has a positive effect on parenting. The present study examined the association between mindfulness, parent-child relationship, and child social behavior in a Chinese sample. Two-hundred and sixteen mothers with children of preschool age completed a set of questionnaires on their mindfulness, parent-child relationships, and their children’s social behavior. A path analysis of their responses indicated that mindfulness had a significant and positive effect on the mother-child relationship in terms of attachment, involvement, and parental confidence and a negative effect on discipline practice and relational frustration. Mindfulness also had a significantly negative indirect effect on children’s emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity, and peer problems and a significant and positive indirect effect on children’s prosocial behavior. These results supported previous findings that mindful parents were more involved in their children’s lives and have a tendency to be more aware of their children’s needs. Implications of these results are discussed.