Children's anxiety disorders not only lead to problems related to themselves 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: This is an experimental research in terms of method with a pretest-posttest-follow-up design and a control group. The study population included all mothers of preschool anxious children in Shahrekord, Iran in 2018. Using the multistage sampling method, a sample of 45 individuals were selected and assigned randomly to 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 conducted on the experimental groups. The control group did not receive any intervention. SPSS (version 24) was further used for data analysis.
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 the mean of post-test and follow-up scores were significantly different in the experimental and control groups. Furthermore, the happiness training for the 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).
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.