The relationship between mothers’ attachment style, mindful parenting, and the perception of their child

Authors

  • Brigitta Szabó Doctoral School of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2848-7274
  • Judit Futo Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
  • Mónika Miklósi Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest; Centre of Mental Health, Heim Pál Children’s Hospital, Budapest https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8316-0410

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51561/cspsych.67.5.260

Keywords:

attachment, maternal attachment, child perception, parenting, mindfulness, mindful parenting

Abstract

Objectives. Maternal attachment style plays a major role in the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology. Previous studies indicated that a secure attachment style is associated with higher levels of mindfulness and higher quality of parent-child relationship. However, most of these studies assessed general mindfulness instead of mindful parenting. This study aimed to explore the relationship between the mothersʼ attachment style, mindful parenting, and perception of their child.
Sample and settings. One hundred forty-four mothers who had a child below the age of three years completed self-report questionnaires, including a demographic questionnaire, the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ), the Interpersonal Mindfulness in Parenting Scale (IMP), and the Mothersʼ Object Relations Scale (MORS-SF).
Hypotheses. The authors hypothesized that mothers with insecure attachment styles and a lower level of mindful parenting would have more invasive and less warm representations of their children than mothers with a secure attachment style and a higher level of mindful parenting.
Statistical analyses. The authors conducted two mediation analyses with Mothersʼ Object Relations Scale warmth and invasion subscales as dependent variables, the motherʼs attachment style as an independent variable and mindful
parenting as a mediator.
Results. In the mediation analysis, the direct effects of the mothersʼ attachment style on the perception of the child were not significant. However, the indirect effects through mindful parenting were significant; a higher level of mindful parenting was associated with higher levels of MORS-SF warmth and lower levels of MORS-SF invasion. These findings suggest that attachment styles are related to the perception of the child through mindful parenting. Mindfulness-based parental training programs might be helpful in improving the parent-child relationship in case of attachment-related problems.
Limitations. Cross-sectional design and the use of self-report measures are the main limitations of the current study.

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Published

2023-10-31

How to Cite

Szabó, B., Futo, J. ., & Miklósi, M. . (2023). The relationship between mothers’ attachment style, mindful parenting, and the perception of their child. Československá Psychologie, 67(5), 260-272. https://doi.org/10.51561/cspsych.67.5.260

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Section

Articles