Get weekly updates via email!
tip of the day SAT 20 SEP 14
Unmotivated while you work? Give yourself incentives for completing each task, like 10 minutes on Facebook or Twitter—or for bigger achievements, a trip to Starbucks.
  • Good House Keeping
    Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo returns to our cover this September issue and gets candid about money, marriage, and motherhood.
    Good Housekeeping
  • Women's Health
    Drop two sizes fast—with simple exercises you can do at home! This month's ultimate weight-loss special shows you how. Plus, real women share how you, too, can shed and keep off excess weight for good.
    Women's Health
Belle Yambao, Contributor
 
October 11, 2011

New Study: Stress may be tainting your interactions with your kids

Research shows depressed or poor moms are more likely to have parenting problems. By Belle Yambao
stressed_moms_bad_parenting.jpgDo you feel frazzled, FNites? If you're a working mom, a busy housewife, or both, you most likely battle stress every day, and with the demands of the modern world on women, this comes as no surprise. According to research soon to be published in Development and Psychopathology, being under constant stress might affect moms even more than they already think: it influences the way they interact with their kids negatively.

Researchers from the University of Rochester measured moms' physiological stress response via wireless electrocardiograph monitors attached unobtrusively to participants. They examined 153 moms with kids from 17 to 19 months old and tracked how they reacted when their kids were left with strangers. They also recorded how the moms interacted with their children after being reunited with them.

The results showed that moms with symptoms of depression exhibited a "hyperactive" response--which means their heart rate patterns elevated--after being separated from their kids, upon getting them back, and when their kids were upset. When the researchers instructed these moms to play with their children, they reacted by displaying hostility toward them in the form of "derogatory comments, angry tone of voice, and rough physical interaction."

Melissa Sturge-Apple, lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, says this happens because depressed individuals are usually "on high alert, oversensitive to social stressors, and unable to calm down."

Meanwhile, moms who lived in poor neighborhoods with elevated crime rates displayed the opposite reaction. They were "hypoactive," which means they recorded low heart rate patterns throughout the study. When asked to play with their kids, they ignored them, and if the moms did react, they were bossy toward their children. The researchers explain that this is because their way of living has already stifled their stress response, making them more indifferent to their children's emotions.

This study shows how important the role of de-stressing plays in women's lives, so make sure you allow yourself some downtime whenever you feel your worries are getting the better of you. You can even hit two birds with one stone by including your children in your de-stressing activities. Playing with your kids can be relaxing too, and this gives you a chance to have more bonding time with them.


Need help managing your stress? Here are some articles to help you out:

(Photo by johnk in Buffalo via Flickr Creative Commons)
Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
COMMENTS
Name :
Email :
Website :
Comment :
Security Image
 
 
NOTE: FemaleNetwork.com is a CLEAN ZONE. Editors reserve the right to delete obscene comments.
Filter comments by:
  • Be the first one to comment...
Filter comments by:
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
follow us
LATEST Articles
MOST READ Articles
Good Housekeeping Helps One Mom Dress for Her Shape
Find out what suits an apple-shaped body!  Sep 16, 2014 
Take a break! Transform your day in just 5 minutes!
Don't underestimate the power of 5 minutes to change your day for the better.  Sep 12, 2014 
From Gloomy to Bright! Check out these 10 Easy Dull Day Fixes
It doesn't take a lot to turn your day around!  Aug 29, 2014 
How to Deal with Different Kinds of In-Laws
Monster-in-law? Here are ways on how you can live with them without losing your sanity.  Aug 24, 2014 
7 Ways That Colors Make a Difference In Your Day
Here's how you can use colors to transform your mood and days!  Aug 14, 2014 
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT