Date of Award

8-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Robert G. Wahler

Committee Members

Jenny Macfie, Kristina Gordon, Robert Kronick

Abstract

Recent research in the area of narrative coherence and mindfulness suggest the strong impact they have on parenting style and child behavior. The current project examines the relationships between these variables in order to better understand the components of healthy parent child interaction, which may be used to inform future studies as well as interventions aimed at helping struggling parents. The population is composed of 40 mothers who were drawn from a university clinic setting. Measures utilized included: the Parenting Styles Questionnaire – Revisted (PAQ-R); the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS); and the Parental Authority Questionnaire – Revised (PAQ-R), which measured the degree to which parents endorse one of the following three parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive; and the Shortform Assessment for Children – Revised (SAC-R) which measures prosocial child behavior. Results demonstrated a significant negative correlation between increased narrative coherence and the less effective authoritarian parenting style. Mindfulness was found to be significantly positively correlated with the more effective authoritative parenting style, as well as showing a significant negative correlation with the less effective authoritarian parenting style. It was hypothesized that mindfulness would mediate the relationship between narrative coherence and parenting style, but results did not support this hypothesis. Results are discussed, exploring the ways in which mindfulness and coherence impact parenting style and child behavior.

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