Research indicates associations of mindfulness with better relationships and well-being because it promotes decentering and relationship-related capacities. This study examined the effects of mindfulness on mothers' relationships with their children and well-being in a challenging time – the first COVID-19 lockdown. We hypothesized that mothers' relationships and well-being would deteriorate during the lockdown, but a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) would mitigate this process because of its effect on mothers' mindfulness and decentering. We surveyed 109 mothers caring for their children (mean age 8.61) during the first lockdown in Israel. First, they completed online questionnaires assessing their interpersonal mindfulness, decentering, relationships with their children and well-being (including positive and negative affect and life satisfaction). Then, they were randomly assigned to a group: MBI, relaxing music intervention or no intervention. Participants completed the questionnaires again after 2 weeks of daily interventions. Unexpectedly, mothers in all groups improved their relationships with their children and well-being (their satisfaction with life increased and negative affect decreased) with no significant group differences. Furthermore, the increase in relationship quality was associated with increases in mindfulness and decentering. The findings suggest that crises initially perceived as a threat to mother–child relationships may also present a beneficial opportunity in certain circumstances.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Child & Family Social Work published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- mother–child relationships
- parent–child relationships
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science