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A mother’s stress rubs off on her children, even if she tries to hide it, suggests research in the Journal of Family Psychology. U.S. researchers fitted 107 parents and their children ages 7 to 11 with electrocardiogram sensors to measure sympathetic nervous system activation. Parents were separated rom their children and asked to complete a stressful task such as public speaking. The stressed parents were then assigned to either a “suppression” condition, in which they were instructed to hide their stress from their children, or a control condition. Upon the parents being reunited with their children, trained observers rated the interactions between them. The researchers found that parents and children in the suppression condition were less warm and less engaged with each other. There was also a significant link between a mother’s physiological stress and that of her children–a link that was not seen in the control group. Also, stress wasn’t transmitted from fathers to children in the suppression condition, but dads did pick up stress from their kids. (Monitor on Psychology)

Susie Bean Gives