|Credit: Namibnat on Flickr|
Fights between parents can disrupt their children’s abilities to identify and control emotions, reports a study from New York University. In addition, children that are exposed to fighting over a long period have a higher risk for developing anxiety and depression, according to the study.
Researchers followed over 1,000 children from 6 months of age until they were nearly 5 years old. They established that parents’ verbal and physical aggression could interfere with “children’s ability to regulate their own feelings of sadness, withdrawal, and fear, placing them at greater risk for symptoms of anxiety and depression later on.”
In addition to parental conflict, researchers investigated whether other symptoms of adversity affected the children’s emotional development. They discovered that household chaos and poverty contributed to the children’s inability to recognize different emotions.
“This study shines a bright light on the importance of supporting parents as they navigate the ups and downs of partnership or marriage,” says lead author, C Cybele Raver. “Parents need help regulating their own feelings of anger, frustration, and worry when balancing the demands of work, family, and romantic partnership, especially when money is tight.”
The study, “Poverty, household chaos, and interparental aggression predict children’s ability to recognize and modulate negative emotions” is published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.
This article was originally published by me on Examiner.com.