The Impact of Parents’ Mental Health on Their Children: Surprising Findings on Fathers’ Influence

2023-12-16 11:00:47

A mother’s anxiety and depression have a negative impact on her children.

Entered 2023.12.16 20:00 Views 16 Entered 2023.12.16 20:00 Modified 2023.12.16 13:10 Views 16

It turns out that slightly anxious and depressed fathers raise smarter and more polite children. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]There is a saying that children learn by watching their parents. This means that children imitate their parents’ thoughts and actions. However, research has shown that parents’ mental and emotional states can have a different impact on their children than expected.

A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that fathers who were mildly anxious and depressed raised smarter, more well-mannered children.

We studied 61 children (36 boys, 25 girls) from several Canadian universities to see how their fathers’ anxiety and depression affected their children’s behavior during pregnancy and when the children were 6 to 8 years old.

Studies have shown that children of anxious and depressed fathers have better attention spans, higher IQs and more self-control. When researchers asked parents to fill out questionnaires, they found that children of depressed fathers sat still for a long time, were less likely to get angry, and had a much better ability to concentrate. Additionally, standardized test scores showed that these children had higher IQs than children whose fathers did not suffer from anxiety or depression.

“These results are completely contradictory to the common hypothesis that anxious and depressed fathers will have a negative impact on their children,” the researchers said. “If anxious and depressed fathers experience their own mental and emotional difficulties, they may be more empathetic towards their children and therefore have better parental coordination.” “You can have it,” he explained. Parental attunement refers to a parent’s awareness and response to their child’s emotional state and needs.

However, unlike fathers, maternal anxiety and depression have been shown to have many negative effects on children, including increasing the risk of developing problems and mental illness later in life. A mother’s overload of stress hormones during her pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk of the fetus developing anxiety, depression, behavioral problems and even autism. Additionally, severe stress during early pregnancy, such as extreme trauma or natural disasters, increases the risk of mental disorders such as schizophrenia.

Tina Montreuil, an associate professor at McGill University and co-author of the study, told Science Daily: “They may have shown greater adjustments in their children to compensate for environmental risk factors, such as predictors.”

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