Many studies have demonstrated the physical and mental effects of mindfulness. In particular, recent studies have shown that mindfulness influences mental health of mothers, which is receiving attention as “mindful parenting.” Some researchers have demonstrated that mindfulness training decreases anxiety and depression in mothers. Although the mindfulness scale, Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, has five facets (i.e., observing, nonreactivity, nonjudging, describing, acting with awareness), most research uses the total score. It is necessary to examine which facet influences parenting anxiety. Studies targeting mothers of younger children, who are generally considered to have high levels of parenting stress, are also necessary. Therefore, we examined how the age of the mother and youngest child moderate the relationship between the elements of mindfulness and parenting anxiety.
The analytic sample was 89 mothers whose children were 0-6 years old and go to kindergarten or nursery. The mean age of the mothers was 37.3 years, with the range of 26-48. We performed a hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Our results show that when maternal age was high, nonreactivity was negatively related to parenting anxiety. The age of the youngest child showed no significant influence between mindfulness and parenting anxiety. In addition, the age of the youngest child was negatively related to parenting anxiety. Nonjudging was negatively
related to parenting anxiety.
These results are consistent with previous researches. In the future, intervention research and mindfulness-based parenting training should examine and train the nonreactivity and nonjudging elements of mindfulness considering maternal age and age of the youngest child.