“Mommy, Daddy, Stop Fighting!” Parental Conflict Hurts Kids’ Ability to Identify/Control Emotions

Exposure to verbal and physical aggression between parents may hurt a child’s ability to identify and control emotions, according to a longitudinal study. Exposure to conflict…in the home can shapeshutterstock_214211350 children’s neurobiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses.

“Our study points to ways in which aggression between parents may powerfully shape children’s emotional adjustment,” says C. Cybele Raver, professor of applied psychology at NYU Steinhardt and the study’s lead author. “Arguing and fighting is psychologically stressful for the adults caught in conflict; this study demonstrates the costs of that conflict for children in the household as well.

Research has demonstrated that exposure to conflict and violence in the home can shape children’s neurobiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses.  For instance, children who hear or witness their parents fighting may have trouble regulating their emotions in less risky situations, such as a classroom.

The study showed that children raised in homes where there was a lot of open conflict between mom and dad had a hard time both  identifying and controlling  their feelings.

“This study shines a bright light on the importance of supporting parents as they navigate the ups and downs of partnership or marriage,” says Raver. “Parents need help regulating their own feelings of anger, frustration, and worry when balancing the demands of work, family, and romantic partnership… READ MORE

If you’d like to learn ways to end the conflict and restore peace in your marriage and family, contact the Pastoral Solutions Institute (740-266-6461) to learn more about how our professional, Catholic-integrated tele-counseling service can help you heal the heart of your home.

Comments are closed.