Mindfulness training for parents of young children with anxiety

Griffith University researchers are looking for parents of young children with anxiety to participate in a study on mindfulness training.

“Parenting can be stressful and even more challenging when children experience anxiety and worries,’’ says Robyn Farley, clinical psychologist and PhD candidate from the School of Applied Psychology.

“Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health disorders affecting children. In Australia, 7% of children aged between 4 to 11 experience an anxiety disorder.

“These are among the earliest mental health disorders to onset, cause significant distress and impairment, and increase the likelihood of development of other mental health disorders later in life.”

Fellow PhD candidate Natalja Nabinger de Diaz says while mindfulness parent training has shown to be effective in helping parents of children with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, there is scant research evaluating mindfulness training for parents of young children with anxiety disorders,’’

“Our research trial study will explore the effects of mindfulness training for parents of young children (aged 3 to 7) who are experiencing high anxiety (ie, social anxiety, separation anxiety, generalised anxiety).”

Parents are invited to participate in a free, eight-week trial involving two-hour sessions at the Gold Coast campus where they will be taught mindfulness-based techniques to manage stress, anxiety and self-regulation, which they can then apply to parenting situations with their anxious child.

The in-person sessions will be supported by a phone app specifically developed for the trial. The app includes educational videos, recordings of the mindfulness meditations and yoga practices, and will help parents to engage with their home-practice between the in-person sessions.

For more information contact the Kids In Mind team on (07) 5678 0520, or email:kidsinmind@griffith.edu.au