Emotional-mindful Parenting and Youth Outcomes: An Independent Construct from Warmth and Control in Parenting

Open Access
Barnhart, Linnea Jan
Area of Honors:
Human Development and Family Studies
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • J Douglas Coatsworth, Thesis Supervisor
  • Kathryn Bancroft Hynes, Honors Advisor
  • Hobart H Cleveland Iii, Faculty Reader
  • parenting
  • youth
  • warmth
  • control
  • emotional-mindful parenting
Previous research on parenting styles and their effects on children has focused mainly on two indicators of warmth and control in parenting proposed by Baumrind. The parenting styles considered in this study aim to explore and expansion of those dimensions of parenting beyond warmth and control. Most research examines the impact of parenting styles in reference to their level of control and how to shape intervention and prevention science to improve parents’ methods and levels of control, minimizing the impact warmth could have. Not only is warmth wrongfully deemphasized but research also needs to look more deeply into the level of emotional awareness in parenting. This study proposes that emotional awareness coupled with the parents’ mindfulness in their parenting impacts children, having an additive effect on the relationships with warmth and positive control. Thompson’s attachment theory proposes a balance of these constructs in early childhood research by examining the effects parents have in children’s early attachment security. The examination of parental warmth towards infants by Thompson should not stop there though; research needs to follow this measure of warmth and awareness through adolescence. The transition in parenting from childhood to adolescence proposes a different set of issues. This paper will focus on the changing needs of warmth and emotion-coaching in childhood to the more complex issue of emotional awareness in adolescence. In this study I will examine the need for fluidity in parenting across childhood and adolescence. In particular, I will investigate correlations between levels of emotional parenting, defined by emotional awareness and mindfulness, and adolescent developmental outcomes of wellbeing, problem behavior and the affective quality of the parent-youth relationship. This analysis will more clearly emphasize the importance of continuity in emotional-mindful parenting.