Harsh Parenting in Childhood May Result in Decreased Brain Size in Adolescence, Study Claims

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Mental Health News: According to a new study, it has been found that parents who continuously behave harshly with their children may affect their mental health.

A new study has reported that practicing harsh parenting with children through repeated actions of yelling, hitting, or shaking, may lead to brain structures in adolescence.

The study was conducted by Sabrina Suffren, Ph.D., at Université de Montréal and the CHU Sainte Justine Research Centre in partnership with researchers from Stanford University. Unfortunately, according to the study, this form of parenting is common and even considered socially acceptable by most people in Canada and around the world.

Serious child abuse, negligence, and even institutionalization have been linked to anxiety and depression later in life. The results of the study had clearly exhibited that teenagers with smaller brain regions were subjected to rude and rigid parenting practices during their childhood. However, the children did not face any serious acts of abuse.

“The implications go beyond changes in the brain. I think what’s important is for parents and society to understand that the frequent use of harsh parenting practices can harm a child’s development,” added Suffren, the lead author of the study.

To Know More, You May Refer To:

Sabrina Suffren, Valérie La Buissonnière-Ariza, Alan Tucholka, Marouane Nassim, Jean R. Séguin, Michel Boivin, Manpreet Kaur Singh, Lara C. Foland-Ross, Franco Lepore, Ian H. Gotlib, Richard E. Tremblay, Françoise S. Maheu. Prefrontal cortex and amygdala anatomy in youth with persistent levels of harsh parenting practices and subclinical anxiety symptoms over time during childhood. Development and Psychopathology, 2021; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0954579420001716

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