A Comparison of Effects of Happiness and Mindfulness Training on Parenting Self-Efficacy in Mothers of Anxious Preschool Children

Document Type: original article


1 Department of Psychology, Khuzestan Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Department of Psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran.


Background:The children's anxiety disorders not only lead to problems in them but also cause problems and confusion in the family. The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of happiness and mindfulness training in promoting the parental self-efficacy in mothers of anxious preschool children.
Materials and Methods: The research method was experimental with a pretest-posttest-follow-up design and a control group. The study population included of all mothers of preschool anxious children in Shahrekord city, Iran, in 2018. Using the multistage sampling method, 45 ones were selected and put randomly in a control and two experimental groups (n=15 per group). The research tools included Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS), and Parenting Self Agency Measure (PSAM). Mindfulness (eight 90-minute sessions), and happiness (ten 90-minute sessions) training were performed on the experimental groups. The control group did not receive any intervention. SPSS version 24 was further used for analyzing the data.The significance level of research was considered to be α=0.05.
Results:The mean age of the participants in the mindfulness training, happiness training and control groups were 34.36±2.59, 36.08±2.63 and 34.20±2.29 respectively. The results indicated that mean of post-test and follow-up scores were significantly different in the experimental and control groups. Furthermore, the happiness training for mothers of anxious children was effective in their parenting self-efficacy (P=0.000); and a one-month follow-up in the experimental group indicated that the therapeutic intervention could maintain its intervention effect over time (P=0.000).
Conclusion: Based on the results, mindfulness and happiness training methods could have lasting effects on the parent-child relationship and change the anxious relationship between parent and child, leading to parental self-efficacy.