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Mother-daughter conflict, low serotonin level may be deadly combination
Date:3/5/2008

e were two boys in each group.

Each mother and child separately filled out behavioral questionnaires that examined the adolescents mental health and self-injurious behaviors, and one that identified areas of conflict between parents and teenagers. To assess negativity in each parent-child relationship, the researchers selected a topic that both parties said was a serious issue. Crowell said that doing chores at home was the most common area of conflict. Then each mother and child were asked to discuss a specific problem topic for 10 minutes. The discussion was taped and the interaction was later coded. After the discussion small amounts of blood were drawn from the adolescents to assess their serotonin level.

You would think that they would be civil to each other in this kind of situation, but many of these topics were hot and within five minutes some of our subjects were arguing with each other, Beauchaine said.

He said most of the teenage participants in the study were girls because self-inflicted injuries are far more common among girls. Mothers, rather than fathers, were chosen because research has shown that the relationship between girls and mothers is usually closer than it is between daughters and fathers.

Beauchaine believes finding the underlying causes of self-inflicted injuries and developing prevention programs should be a national priority because self-harming behavior can lead to suicide which is a leading cause of death among American adolescents and young adults.

Once self-harming behavior starts it is difficult to stop. Over time, with something such as cutting, childrens bodies react to it in a way that helps reduce biological and psychological pain. They essentially become addicted to this behavior. So you want to prevent this behavior before it starts, he said.


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Contact: Joel Schwarz
joels@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

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