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Positive parenting won't make up for yelling, insulting
By Genevra Pittman
NEW YORK Mon Dec 2, 2013 4:27pm EST
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Young adults who had been criticized, insulted or threatened by a parent growing up were more likely to be anxious or depressed, in a new study.
Even when the same or another parent expressed plenty of affection, researchers found the apparent harmful effects of having a verbally aggressive mother or father persisted.
"There's a fair amount of data out there that says that parental verbal aggression toward a kid is very damaging," Byron R. Egeland said.
"In many instances, people find it to be as damaging as actual physical abuse," he told Reuters Health.
Egeland has studied child maltreatment and development at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and was not involved in the new research.
Past research has linked verbally aggressive parenting to changes in children's brain development and to personality disorders later in life, researchers led by Ann Polcari write in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect.
Polcari, from Northeastern University in Boston, and her colleagues wanted to see whether also receiving affection from parents would lessen those impacts.
Their study included about 2,500 young people, ages 18 to 25. They each took a series of online surveys as part of being screened for in-person tests and interviews for other research.
Participants reported both on their current mental health and wellbeing and on their experiences with their parents growing up.
They rated each of their parent's verbal aggression on a scale from zero to 105, based on how often mothers or fathers yelled at, scolded, insulted and blamed them as kids. More verbally aggressive parents got higher scores.
Study participants gave their mother's verbal aggression an average score of 22. They scored fathers between 26 and 29.
Verbal affection was measured from zero to 84, with higher scores reflecting a parent who expressed more affection and engaged in more meaningful conversations with the child.
Participants scored their mothers between 65 and 66 on that scale, on average, and their fathers between 54 and 55.
Young adults tended to have more psychiatric symptoms like anxiety and depression when either their mother or their father was verbally aggressive.What's more, although having a verbally affectionate parent seemed to have a positive impact on young people's wellbeing, it didn't make up for having a second parent who was verbally aggressive, Polcari's team found.
And having one parent who was both affectionate and aggressive wasn't any better for a young person's psychiatric health than if that parent was only aggressive.
"It isn't as if one cancels the other," Timothy Moore, from York University in Toronto, told Reuters Health.
"Whatever the benefits of positive expressions may be, the negative association between verbal aggression and adjustment persisted," Moore said. He has studied the effects of verbal aggression in childhood but wasn't involved in the new study.
"It certainly is important that there be somebody there that the kid can count on, starting at an early age," Egeland said.
"But a large amount of verbal abuse or for that matter having a parent who is emotionally unavailable or physically abuses the kid - those kids will grow up with the idea that they can't count on others. Those are kids that oftentimes don't benefit from the support of a neighbor or coach or relative," he said.
"If the abuse starts at a very early age, it's likely that kid is not going to have trust in much of anybody."
Egeland said the fact that verbal aggression is more common in poor families means children who experience it are also more likely to have single parents and lower quality schools - compounding their risks.
One limitation of the study, the researchers noted, is that participants recalled their parents' verbal aggression from years earlier to the best of their memories. They also reported their own symptoms and weren't checked by a doctor for psychiatric illness.
SOURCE: bit.ly/18otSO8 Child Abuse & Neglect, online November 21, 2013.
How should we celebrate Children’s Day?
If there is something that all men like, it can be nothing else but children. They conquer our hearts with their angelic eyes and innocent smiles . It makes us realize that may be the way god wanted us to be. On Children’s Day tribute is paid to all children in the world.
In India, Children’s Day is celebrated on 14 November as the day marks the birth anniversary of the legendary freedom fighter and independent India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He was one who used to spend most of his precious moments with children and their innocence.
Children’s Day is a day to engage in fun and frolic. But it is not just that. This day reminds everyone to renew their commitment towards the welfare of the children and to teach them to live by Chacha Nehru’s ideals. And for grown-up people, it is an occasion to imbibe the qualities of childhood.
Children build the nation sound and strong. One may think how these tiny tots can change the nation. Yes, they can, because today’s children are responsible citizens of tomorrow. For a country to develop lies in the hands of the child. And the foundation of knowledge, skills and attitude are laid in this impressionable period.
Children’s Day also reminds us of the rights of children. We are the citizens and leaders of tomorrow. So we really matter and deserve respect, special care and protection. But do you know how many children are abused in our nation? On this occasion let us also remember those children who are sick, abused and unhappy. Remember that as children:
You have the right to be looked after by parents and family. You have the right to have healthy food. You have the right to feel safe at home and school. You have the right to good education. And when you are disabled or sick, you have the right to special care.
Dear children, let us also remember that Children’s Day is an occasion to imbibe the values of discipline, sense of order, cleanliness, beauty, and above all, innocence. As Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations said, “There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their safety and rights are respected, that their welfare is respected, that their lives are free from fear and that they grow in peace.”
So let us join hands, let us stand up, for we are the future leaders of this beautiful nation. Let us lead by example. Peace be with you all.
Mrs.Kalpana Sachar, Teacher Don Bosco Academy
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