Harsh Parenting Techniques ‘Can Affect Child’s Brain Development’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Experts have assessed the level of anxiety in children with strict parenting techniques.

Children who are regularly screamed, hit or shaken can develop a small brain in adolescence.

Harsh parenting techniques have been placed under a microscope in a new study to determine if there is a connection between this type of behavior and a child’s development. In many parts of the world, harsh parenting is acceptable, but experts believe it can have serious consequences for young people.

“The impact is beyond the changes in the brain,” said Sabrina Suffren, a leading PhD study author at the University of Montreal and CHU Sant-Justin Research Center. “I think it’s important for parents and society to understand that frequent use of strict parenting methods harms a child’s development.

“We are talking about their social and emotional development as well as their brain development.”

Previous studies have shown that sexual and emotional abuse, as well as neglect, is associated with depression and anxiety in later life. Children who have been the victims of this type of abuse have been shown to have a small prefrontal cortex and amygdala, which play an important role in controlling both emotions and anxiety and depression.

The new research also found that these areas of the brain were smaller in adolescents who were exposed to harsh parenting methods in childhood.

We are talking about their social and emotional development as well as their brain development.

At the University of Montreal and CHU St.-Justin Research Center – Sabrina Suffren, Ph.D.

“These findings are both significant and new. It is the first time that the harsh parenting behavior of severe abuse parents has been linked to a reduction in the size of the brain structure, which is similar to what we have seen in victims of serious acts of abuse.”

The study assessed the level of anxiety of children aged 2 to 9 years on an annual basis, and then divided the children into groups based on how they could be strictly parenting. Anxiety levels were re-analyzed when the children were 12 and 16 years old, and anatomical MRI was also performed.

The research was conducted in partnership with researchers at Stanford University and was published in the Journal of Development and Psychology.

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