Navigation Links
Children distressed by family fighting have higher stress hormones
Date:11/13/2008

Children who become very upset when their parents fight are more likely to develop psychological problems. But little is known about what happens beyond these behavioral reactions in terms of children's biological responses. A new study has found that children who are very distressed when their parents fight also have higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

The study, by researchers at the University of Rochester, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Notre Dame, appears in the November/December 2008 issue of the journal Child Development.

The researchers studied 208 primarily White 6-year-olds and their mothers to determine whether children who showed specific behavior patterns of reacting to conflict also had changes in cortisol levels during simulated telephone arguments between their parents. They measured children's distress, hostility, and level of involvement in the arguments, and received reports from the mothers about how their children responded when parents fought at home. Cortisol levels were measured by taking saliva samples before and after the conflicts in the lab.

Children who were very distressed by the conflicts in the lab had higher levels of cortisol in response to their parents fighting. Children's levels of hostility and their involvement during the arguments weren't always related to their levels of cortisol, the study found. But children who were very distressed and very involved in response to parental fighting had especially high levels of cortisol.

"Our results indicate that children who are distressed by conflict between their parents show greater biological sensitivity to conflict in the form of higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol," according to Patrick T. Davies, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, who led the study. "Because higher levels of cortisol have been linked to a wide range of mental and physical health difficulties, high levels of cortisol may help explain why children who experience high levels of distress when their parents argue are more likely to experience later health problems."

The study has implications for policy and practice: The common practice of judging how well intervention programs are doing based solely on improvements in how children function psychologically may need to be changed to include physiological measures like cortisol levels, the authors suggest.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrea Browning
abrowning@srcd.org
202-289-7905
Society for Research in Child Development
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. In child care, relationships with caregivers key to childrens stress levels
2. UNC study: Text messaging may help children fight off obesity
3. Recommendations for childrens exercise lacking say experts
4. NIH selects Case Western Reserve University to participate in National Childrens Study
5. Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital expand national childrens study to Bristol County
6. Childrens National researchers develop novel anti-tumor vaccine
7. Scientists discover why a mothers high-fat diet contributes to obesity in her children
8. Childrens gardening programs grow environmental stewards
9. Childrens Hospital researchers identify genetic mutation that may predict organ rejection
10. Aberrations in region of chromosome 1q21.1 associated with broad range of disorders in children
11. Childrens National researcher receives ACCP Distinguished Investigator Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   Acuant ... and verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ... solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and ... products that add functional enhancements to existing ... corporations and venues with an automated ID ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio ... that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" ... collaboration will result in greater convenience for SACU ... while maintaining existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... YORK , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign ... to envision new ways to harness living systems and ... Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City ... than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software ... State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , ... Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, protecting ... has closed its Series A funding round, according to ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund that ... meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez . ... complete validation on the current projects in our pipeline, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: