According to Medical Xpress, a new study was done that shows that a child’s emotions and individual behavior can impact how a parent parents their children. This study was completed by Elizabeth Shewark from Michigan State University and can be read in full here.
Elizabeth wanted to look at how the environment can influence a parenting style, specifically how a child’s negative emotions influence the parenting styles. She stated that most studies are rooted in the genetics of a child and their parents, but children and parents are living with the same genes and in the same environment and it may be vital to look at both.
The study looked at 561 adopted children and their adoptive and birth parents. They followed them from when they were infants to tween, and it proved interesting because adoptive parents (obviously) do not have a genetic link to the child, but they share the same environment. The opposite would be true for birth parents, they are linked genetically, but do not share the same environment as their birth children.
The study found that children at age 4 who had some anger issues were more likely to be met with a hostility-styled parenting method from their adoptive methods. This caused them to be “angrier” by the time they were 6 years old. It became a cycle.
The researchers were surprised that emotions like anger and sadness were not met with warmer parenting styles since that is a more supportive style and has been proven to help adopted children adjust better to their family environment. In conclusion, the team stated that it is clear that an individual child plays a role in how a parent decides to parent.
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Sources: Medical Xpress, ACAMH
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