child

Parenting 101: Favoring one child gives them all mental health problems

Monday, February 18, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: parenting, children, mental health

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Whooping cough outbreak at Massachusetts high school affected only vaccinated students
Inuit Elders tell NASA Earth Axis Shifted
Vaccine flu shots still contain 25 micrograms mercury - 100 times the concentration of 'mercury-loaded' fish
Measles outbreak likely caused by vaccinated children, science shows
Baby formula is loaded with GMOs - Avoid these brands
Extreme trauma from male circumcision causes damage to areas of brain
Terminal stage IV lung cancer patient miraculously cured by cannabis oil
Costco stops selling antibiotic laden chicken in response to consumer demand
FDA cracks down Walmart, GNC, other companies selling supplements that do not contain the herbs on the label
McDonald's french fries found to contain Silly Putty ingredient and petroleum chemical

Delicious
(NaturalNews) When parents play favorites among their children, it's not just the less-favored child who develops mental health problems, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto, McMaster University, the University of Rochester and published in the journal Child Development. Instead, the entire family's mental health is affected.

"This was really surprising," lead author Jenny Jenkins said. "We expected differential parenting to operate stronger within the parent-child dynamic. However, differential parenting had a stronger effect on the entire family."

The researchers followed 400 Canadian families, each of them with between two and four children of average age two to five. Unlike prior studies on differential parenting, which have focused mostly on families with two children, the current study was able to examine wider family dynamics. Using information from mothers' reports and observations by the researchers, parenting was ranked as more or less "differential," meaning whether one child was favored over others.

The researchers found, as expected, that children whose siblings were favored over them ended up with more mental health problems over time than the siblings who got better treatment. But they also found that every child in a differential parenting household ended up with more mental health problems than children from households where their parents treated them equally.

Mental health problems particularly included attention problems and trouble with social relationship.

"In all likelihood, this occurred because differential parenting sets up a dynamic that is very divisive," Jenkins said.

"Sibling divisiveness is a known result of differential parenting, with lasting effects into adolescence and adulthood."

Environmental risk factors

The researchers also analyzed the riskiness of each mother's situation, including factors such as single parenting, low income and a history of abuse. They found that the more risk factors a mother experienced, the more likely she was to practice favoritism among her children. All the risk factors studied have also been correlated with higher rates of mental health problems in children.

"Parents don't set out to be horrible to one child versus another," Jenkins said. "There are many environmental factors that lead parents to these actions."

"As parents, we have to be aware of these factors, and not let them affect our parenting."

Pediatric specialist Rahl Briggs of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who was not involved in the study, said that society should do more to help parents in such risky situations.

"While all parents know that it's best to avoid comparing siblings to each other, and to strive for equity in terms of attention, optimal parenting of this sort is incredibly difficult when faced with multiple risk factors, such as poverty, mental illness, and a history of adverse childhood experiences," Briggs said.

"[The study] further supports the claim that we must support families, especially those families with young children, to help ameliorate some of these impacts of risk," he said.

"The experiences of young children create a foundation upon which future development and behavior is built, and it's really imperative that this foundation be strong."

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212100556.htm
http://www.redorbit.com
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/mom-best-loses/story?id=18470242

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.