New Study Finds Parental Conflict/Lack of Affection Impairs Brain Development in Teens

Once again, research shows that parenting styles directly impact brain development and predict the likelihood of emotional problems in adolescence and adulthood.

Image: Shutterstock.

Image: Shutterstock.

New research finds that those who experience relatively common family problems early in childhood have an increased risk of mental health issues later on.The study is one of the first to look at relatively common family problems–typically mild to moderate in severity–and tie these up to changes in the brain’s development (Walsh et al., 2014).

Brain imaging data from the teenagers at between 17 and 19 found that those who had experienced problems in the early years, like significant tension between their parents or lack of affection, had a smaller cerebellum.

The cerebellum is an area of the brain associated with learning new skills and regulating stress, amongst other things.

This could be a marker of psychological problems later in life as a small cerebellum has been consistently linked to serious mental disorders. READ MORE

To discover parenting approaches that facilitate healthy brain development in your children, check out Parenting with Grace:The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising (almost) Perfect Kids and Then Comes Baby: The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First 3 Years of Parenthood.

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