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More Family and Parenting Articles from Mom Psych

Anger in Disputes is More About the Climate of the Marriage than the Heat of the Moment

Three Perfectionist Thoughts That Can Hurt Your Family Life

Feeling Tired? 'Social Jetlag' Poses Obesity Health Hazard

Debunking the Parenting Wars

Family Life Study Reveals Key Events That Can Trigger Eating Disorders

Worrying Can Impact Interpersonal Relationships, Study Finds

On Feminists, Attachment Parents, Tiger Moms and Wise French Mothers. Oh, and Dads

Aunt Psych's Blog

 

 
George Holden describes an earlier study, in which SMU researchers found that parents significantly alter their views after they are briefly exposed to the research findings.

 

 

 

Kids Misbehave within 10 Minutes of Spanking

 

First-of-its-kind study also finds that parents ignored best practices recommended by spanking advocates

April 15, 2014—A new study based on real-time audio recordings of parents practicing corporal punishment discovered that spanking was far more common than parents admit, that children were hit for trivial misdeeds and that children then misbehaved within 10 minutes of being punished.

Parenting experts have often outlined best practices for responsible spanking [which include spanking as a last resort after using positive behavior-change tactics first]. But real-time audio from this study revealed that parents fail to follow the guidelines, said psychologist George Holden, who is lead author on the study and a parenting and child development expert at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
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Parents' Attitudes about Helping Their Grown Children Affect Their Mental Health

February 24, 2014—Older parents frequently give help to their middle-aged offspring, and their perceptions about giving this help may affect their mental health, according to a team of researchers.
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Study Finds Parental Stress Linked to Obesity in Children

 

Effects on Hispanic children more pronounced

TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2013—Parental stress is linked to weight gain in children, according to a new study from St. Michael's Hospital. The study found that children whose parents have high levels of stress have a Body Mass Index, or BMI, about 2 per cent higher than those whose parents have low levels of stress. Children with higher parental stress also gained weight at a 7 per cent higher rate during the study period than other children.
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Working Odd Shifts Can Hurt Parent-Child Relationships

December 4, 2013—Research from North Carolina State University shows that working a job that doesn’t keep 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours can hurt the relationships between parents and adolescents, increasing the likelihood that children will engage in delinquent behaviors. However, the researchers found that in some circumstances, an unconventional work schedule can be a benefit for children.
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In Dual-Career Couples, Mothers Still Do the Most Child Care

 

Moms spend 70 percent of free time on parenting activities

COLUMBUS, OH; November 7, 2013—Even in couples most likely to believe in sharing parenting responsibilities, mothers still bear significantly more of the child care load, a new study reveals.
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Can Putting Your Child before Yourself Make You a Happier Person?

 

Study explores the correlation between child-centric behavior and parental happiness and fulfillment

Los Angeles, CA; October 31, 2013—While popular media often depicts highly-involved parents negatively in polaristic stereotypes such as helicopter parents or tiger moms, how does placing one's children at the center of family life really affect parental well-being? New research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science finds that parents who prioritize their children's well-being over their own are not only happier, but also derive more meaning in life from their child-rearing responsibilities.
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Parents Greatly Underestimate How Often Their Children are Cyberbullied

 

30 percent of children admit to being cyberbullied, 15 percent admit to cyberbullying

Washington, DC; October 25, 2013—Cyberbullying has become a destructive force in many children's lives. After multiple suicides by children being cyberbullied, parents, more than ever, need to be aware of their children's online activity. A recent paper published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication found that parents underestimate how often their children engage in risky online behavior, like cyberbullying and viewing pornography.
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Sisters Serve as Confidants, Sources of Support and Mentors During Intimate Conversations

 

Older sisters could aid prevention efforts aimed at reducing risky sexual behaviors among teen girls

COLUMBIA, MO; October 15, 2013—Adolescence can be an impressionable time for girls as they begin forming ideas about dating and sexuality. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that sisters often take on key roles of confidants, sources of support and mentors during conversations about romantic relationships. Sisters may be helpful in health education efforts to promote safe-sex practices and healthy romantic relationships.
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Increased Life Expectancy Shown Among Family Caregivers

 

Findings from John Hopkins study contradict long-standing beliefs about caregiver stress

October 15, 2013—Contradicting long-standing conventional wisdom, results of a Johns Hopkins-led analysis of data previously gathered on more than 3,000 family caregivers suggests that those who assist a chronically ill or disabled family member enjoy an 18 percent survival advantage compared to statistically matched non-caregivers.
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Yelling at Teens Found to be Harmful

 

Harsh verbal discipline may promote problematic behavior rather than minimizing it.

September 4, 2013—Many American parents yell or shout at their teenagers. A new longitudinal study has found that using such harsh verbal discipline in early adolescence can be harmful to teens later. Instead of minimizing teens' problematic behavior, harsh verbal discipline may actually aggravate it.
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Parenting with Social Media Can Help Teens Feel Closer to Parents

July 15, 2013—Parents may not be as savvy with social media as their teenage children, but new research shows they shouldn’t shy away from sending their teen a friend request on Facebook or engaging them on Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms.
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Divorce Early in Childhood Affects Parental Relationships in Adulthood

June 28, 2013—Divorce has a bigger impact on child-parent relationships if it occurs in the first few years of the child's life, according to new research. Those who experience parental divorce early in their childhood tend to have more insecure relationships with their parents as adults than those who experience divorce later, researchers say.

"By studying variation in parental divorce, we are hoping to learn more about how early experiences predict the quality of people's close relationships later in life," says R. Chris Fraley of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Psychologists are especially interested in childhood experiences, as their impact can extend into adulthood, but studying such early experiences is challenging, as people's memories of particular events vary widely. Parental divorce is a good event to study, he says, as people can accurately report if and when their parents divorced, even if they do not have perfect recollection of the details.
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Babies Witnessing Violence Show Aggression Later in School

June 17, 2013—Aggression in school-age children may sometimes have its origins in children 3 years old and younger who witnessed violence between their mothers and partners, according to a new Case Western Reserve University study.

“People may think children that young are passive and unaware, but they pay attention to what’s happening around them,” said Megan Holmes, assistant professor of social work at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland.

Between three and 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence each year, according the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence.
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Dad's Life Stress Exposure Can Affect Offspring Brain Development

PHILADELPHIA, PA; June 12, 2013—Sperm doesn't appear to forget anything. Stress felt by dad—whether as a preadolescent or adult—leaves a lasting impression on his sperm that gives sons and daughters a blunted reaction to stress, a response linked to several mental disorders. The findings, published in a new preclinical study in the Journal of Neuroscience by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, point to a never-before-seen epigenetic link to stress-related diseases such as anxiety and depression passed from father to child.
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Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence Not Getting Adequate Mental Health Services

COLUMBIA, MO; June 10, 2013—Although many abused women suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or depression, they are not receiving needed mental health services, a University of Missouri researcher found.
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Poor Parenting—Including Overprotection—Increases Bullying Risk

University of Warwick; April 25, 2013—Children who are exposed to negative parenting—including abuse, neglect but also overprotection—are more likely to experience childhood bullying by their peers, according to a meta-analysis of 70 studies of more than 200,000 children.

The research, led by the University of Warwick and published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect, found the effects of poor parenting were stronger for children who are both a victim and perpetrator of bulling (bully-victims) than children who were solely victims.

It found that negative or harsh [authoritarian] parenting was linked to a moderate increase in the risk of being a 'bully-victim' and a small increase in the risk of being a victim of bullying. In contrast, warm but firm [authoritative] parenting reduced the risk of being bullied by peers.

"It is vital we understand more about the factors linked to bullying in order to reduce the burden it places on the affected children and society.
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Arguments in the Home Linked With
Babies’ Brain Functioning

APS; March 25, 2013—Being exposed to arguments between parents is associated with the way babies’ brains process emotional tone of voice, according to a new study to be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The study, conducted by graduate student Alice Graham with her advisors Phil Fisher and Jennifer Pfeifer of the University of Oregon, found that infants respond to angry tone of voice, even when they’re asleep.

Babies’ brains are highly plastic, allowing them to develop in response to the environments and encounters they experience. But this plasticity comes with a certain degree of vulnerability—research has shown that severe stress, such as maltreatment or institutionalization, can have a significant, negative impact on child development.
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Iowa State Researchers Find Parent-Child Violence
Leads to Teen Dating Violence

AMES, Iowa; March 25, 2013—Teens today are involved in intimate relationships at a much younger age and often have different definitions of what is acceptable behavior in a relationship. Violence is something that is all too common and according to researchers at Iowa State it is a reflection of the relationships teens have with their parents or their parent’s partner.
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Family Dinners Nourish Good Mental Health
in Adolescents

McGill University; March 20, 2013—Regular family suppers contribute to good mental health in adolescents, according to a study co-authored by McGill professor Frank Elgar, Institute for Health and Social Policy. Family meal times are a measurable signature of social exchanges in the home that benefit adolescents' well-being—regardless of whether or not they feel they can easily talk to their parents.

The authors suggest that family mealtimes are opportunities for open family interactions which present teaching opportunities for parents to shape coping and positive health behaviors such as good nutritional choices, as well as enable adolescents to express concerns and feel valued, all elements that are conducive to good mental health in adolescents.
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A Positive Family Climate in Adolescence
Is Linked to Marriage Quality in Adult
hood

January 30, 2013—Experiencing a positive family climate as a teenager may be connected to your relationships later in life, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

While research has demonstrated long-term effects of aggression and divorce across generations, the impact of a positive family climate has received less attention. Psychological scientist Robert Ackerman of the University of Texas at Dallas and colleagues wanted to examine whether positive interpersonal behaviors in families might also have long-lasting associations with future relationships.

Greater levels of positive engagement at the family level in adolescence also predicted more relationship satisfaction for both partners.
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Of Course the Tooth Fairy's Real:
How Parents Lie to Children

JAN 21, 2013—Almost everyone teaches their children that lying is always wrong. But the vast majority of parents lie to their children in order to get them to behave, according to new research published in the International Journal of Psychology

The percentage of parents who reported lying to their children for the purpose of getting them to behave appropriately was higher in China (98%) than in the U.S. (84%), but rates for other types of lies were similar between the two countries.  A possible explanation for this difference is that Chinese parents are more likely than in the U.S. to demand compliance from their kids, and will go to greater lengths to make it happen. But are there negative side effects?
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Empathy Breeds Empathy:
An Interview with Kenneth Barish, Ph.D.

Kenneth Barish, Ph.D. is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at Weill Medical College, Cornell University. He is also on the faculty of the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and the William Alanson White Institute Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program.

Using an approach based on the most recent clinical and neuroscience research, Dr. Barish has been working with children and families for over 30 years helping them to resolve the conflicts and arguments that can be a source of distress. In his latest book Pride and Joy: A Guide to Understanding Your Child's Emotions and Solving Family Problems, Dr. Barish brings this research and experience together to offer advice to help parents raise children who not only have a positive self-view but also care about the needs and feelings of others.

In this 2012 interview, Dr. Barish discusses his latest book and explains why it is so crucial for parents to understand children's emotions.
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Why Empathy Is Not Indulgence

In recent years, many parent advisors have expressed concern about contemporary parenting—and about the character of our children. These advisors believe, especially, that most children suffer from over-indulgence. In these discussions, empathy and understanding, which remain the essence of good parenting, have often been given a bad name—and a bum rap. Will empathic parents be more likely to indulge their children—to give in more often than they should to their child’s requests or demands?
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Family Violence: When Home is Not a Haven

January 15, 2010—In a world where even ordinary stress on the job or at school can seem battering at times, and outside influences are in constant flux, home, hearth and family are expected to remain steady—a serene and sheltering haven. Home, they say, is where the heart is. 

Unfortunately for many, home can be anything but a safe haven. Men and women alike may find their home a fierce battleground. For children it may be where they are most vulnerable to assault, misuse or deprivation, ironically at the very hands of those who have a duty to safeguard and nourish them. Even the elderly may have reason to fear those who should be their caretakers.
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Cindy Miller-Perrin: Fighting Family Violence With Family Resilience

Cindy Miller-Perrin received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Washington State University and is currently Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Pepperdine University. Her research areas include child-clinical psychology, development, and medical/health psychology. She is widely published in the areas of child sexual abuse, prevention, and physiological psychology, and is a co-author of a textbook titled Family Violence Across the Lifespan. She is also teaches a course on Positive Psychology at Pepperdine. In this 2010 interview, Gina Stepp asked Miller-Perrin about family violence from a preventive perspective.
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