University of Oregon study: Abusive parenting may have biological link

16 Oct

Moi wrote in University of Pittsburgh study: Harsh verbal discipline is not effective;
The question is how to find a balance between “Tiger Mom” and phony self-esteem.
In No one is perfect: People sometimes fail, moi said:
The Child Development Institute has a good article about how to help your child develop healthy self esteem. A discussion of values is often difficult, but the question the stage parent, over the top little league father, or out of control soccer mom should ask of themselves is what do you really and truly value? What is more important, your child’s happiness and self esteem or your fulfilling an unfinished part of your life through your child? Joe Jackson, the winner of the most heinous stage parent award saw his dreams fulfilled with the price of the destruction of his children’s lives. Most people with a healthy dose of self esteem and sanity would say this is too high a price.
Letting Go
Sarah Mahoney wrote a good article at Parents.Com http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/parenting/self_esteem/ about four ways to let go of your kids and she describes her four steps, which she calls Independence Day. Newsweek also has an article on the fine art of letting gohttp://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2006/05/21/the-fine-art-of-letting-go.html
Remember it is your child’s life and they should be allowed to realize their dreams, not yours.
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/no-one-is-perfect-people-sometimes-fail/ https://drwilda.com/tag/is-tough-parenting-really-the-answer/

Science Daily reported in the article, Abusive Parenting May Have a Biological Basis:

Parents who physically abuse their children appear to have a physiological response that subsequently triggers more harsh parenting when they attempt parenting in warm, positive ways, according to new research….
Studies of child maltreatment have consistently found that parents who physically abuse their children tend to parent in more hostile, critical and controlling ways. Skowron’s team appears to have found evidence of a physiological basis for patterns of aversive parenting — the use of hostile actions such as grabbing an arm or hand or using negative verbal cues in guiding a child’s behavior — in a sample of families involved with Child Protective Services.
For the experiment, mothers and children were monitored to record changes in heart rate while playing together in the lab. Parenting behavior was scored to capture positive parenting and strict, hostile control using a standard coding system.
What emerged, Skowron said, were clear distinctions between abusive, neglectful and non-maltreating mothers in their physiological responses during parenting. When abusive mothers were more warm and nurturing, they began to experience more difficulty regulating their heart rate and staying calm. This physiological-based stress response then led the abusive mothers to become more hostile and controlling toward their child a short time later in the interaction.
The same was not the case for mothers who had been previously identified as being physically neglectful or for mothers with no history of neglectful or abusive parenting.
Participants in the National Institutes of Health-funded study were 141 mothers — 94 percent Caucasian with a high school degree or less and incomes at or below $30,000 — and their children, ranged in age from 3 to 5 years old. The research focuses on tracking the effects of physiology on parenting in real time.
“Abusive mothers who try to warmly support their child when the child faced a moderate challenge displayed a physiological response that suggested they’re stressed, on alert and preparing to defend against a threat of some kind,” said Skowron, a researcher at the Child and Family Center/Prevention Science Institute at the UO. “This kind of physiological response then led to a shift in an abusive mother becoming more hostile, strict, and controlling ways with her young child, regardless of how her child was behaving.”
The findings, she added, suggest that when physically abusive mothers experience being a nurturing parent they find it to be hard work. “It appears to quickly wear them out, perhaps because it challenges them in ways that lower-risk mothers don’t experience,” she said. “An abusive mother appears caught: When she does a good job with her child, it costs her physiologically, and it negatively affects her because it leads to more aversive parenting….”http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008091742.htm#.Ul2vhaflRJg.email

Citation:

Journal Reference:
1.Elizabeth A. Skowron, Elizabeth Cipriano-Essel, Lorna Smith Benjamin, Aaron L. Pincus, Mark J. Van Ryzin. Cardiac vagal tone and quality of parenting show concurrent and time-ordered associations that diverge in abusive, neglectful, and non-maltreating mothers.. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 2013; 2 (2): 95 DOI: 10.1037/cfp0000005
Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
APA
MLA University of Oregon (2013, October 8). Abusive parenting may have a biological basis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/10/131008091742.htm#.Ul2vhaflRJg.email

Here is the press release from the University of Oregon:

UO researcher finds abusive parenting may have a biological basis
EUGENE, Ore. — (Oct. 7, 2013) — Parents who physically abuse their children appear to have a physiological response that subsequently triggers more harsh parenting when they attempt parenting in warm, positive ways, according to new research.

Reporting in the quarterly journal Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, a five-member team, led by Elizabeth A. Skowron, a professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services in the University of Oregon College of Education, documented connections between the nervous system’s ability to calm heart rate — via electrocardiogram (ECG) measures of parasympathetic activation — and the type of parenting mothers displayed during a laboratory interaction with their preschool child.

Studies of child maltreatment have consistently found that parents who physically abuse their children tend to parent in more hostile, critical and controlling ways. Skowron’s team appears to have found evidence of a physiological basis for those patterns of aversive parenting — the use of hostile actions such as grabbing an arm or hand or using negative verbal cues in guiding a child’s behavior — in a sample of families involved with Child Protective Services.

For the experiment, mothers and children were monitored to record changes in heart rate while playing together in the lab. Parenting behavior was scored to capture positive parenting and strict, hostile control using a standard coding system.

What emerged, Skowron said, were clear distinctions between abusive, neglectful and non-maltreating mothers in their physiological responses during parenting. When abusive mothers were more warm and nurturing, they began to experience more difficulty regulating their heart rate and staying calm. This physiological-based stress response then led the abusive mothers to become more hostile and controlling toward their child a short time later in the interaction.
AUDIO:
1) Skowron on main finding, 20 seconds
2) Skowron on the challenges of intervention, 66 seconds
The same was not the case for mothers who had been previously identified as being physically neglectful or for mothers with no history of neglectful or abusive parenting.

Participants in the National Institutes of Health-funded study were 141 mothers — 94 percent Caucasian with a high school degree or less and incomes at or below $30,000 — and their children, ranged in age from 3 to 5 years old. The research focuses on tracking the effects of physiology on parenting in real time.

“Abusive mothers who try to warmly support their child when the child faced a moderate challenge displayed a physiological response that suggested they’re stressed, on alert and preparing to defend against a threat of some kind,” said Skowron, a researcher at the Child and Family Center/Prevention Science Institute at the UO. “This kind of physiological response then led to a shift in an abusive mother becoming more hostile, strict, and controlling ways with her young child, regardless of how her child was behaving.”

The findings, she added, suggest that when physically abusive mothers experience being a nurturing parent they find it to be hard work. “It appears to quickly wear them out, perhaps because it challenges them in ways that lower-risk mothers don’t experience,” she said. “An abusive mother appears caught: When she does a good job with her child, it costs her physiologically, and it negatively affects her because it leads to more aversive parenting.”

The team’s findings help to explain why abusive parenting is so resistant to most interventions, Skowron said. “Most parents who struggle with child maltreatment really love their children and want help improving their parenting skills. Our findings suggest that many are experiencing a biological response during parenting that actively interferes with their efforts to parent in warm and nurturing ways.”

The next step, she said, is exploring how to translate the new discovery into interventions specifically designed for parents struggling with child abusive. “We have to figure out how to help these high-risk parents calm themselves down more effectively and enjoy the experience of supporting their children in warm, positive ways. First, she noted, it will be important for other researchers to replicate the findings.

“Researchers at the University of Oregon continue to yield critical insights that result in more effective prevention strategies,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. “This research by Dr. Skowron revealing a potential neurobiological trigger involved in abusive parenting may lead to new interventions that could help to improve the lives of children.”

Co-authors with Skowron were Elizabeth Cipriano-Essel and Aaron L. Pincus, both of Pennsylvania State University where Skowron conducted this research, Lorna Smith Benjamin of the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute, and Mark J. Van Ryzin, research associate in the UO Child and Family Center and researcher at the Eugene-based Oregon Social Learning Center.

NIH grant RO1 MH079328 to Skowron supported the research through the National Institute of Mental Health. Additional funding was provided by the Administration for Children and Families, through its Children’s Bureau of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, as part of the Federal Child Neglect Research Consortium.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of “Very High Research Activity” in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact: Jim Barlow, director of science and research communications, 541-346-3481, jebarlow@uoregon.edu

Source: Elizabeth A. Skowron, associate professor of counseling psychology, 541-346-0913, eskowron@uoregon.edu

Additional Links:
Follow UO Science on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UniversityOfOregonScience
UO Science on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UO_Research
More UO Science/Research News: http://uoresearch.uoregon.edu

Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with a point-of-origin Vyvx connection, which provides broadcast-quality video to networks worldwide via fiber optic network. In addition, there is video access to satellite uplink, and audio access to an ISDN codec for broadcast-quality radio interviews. http://uonews.uoregon.edu/archive/news-release/2013/10/uo-researcher-finds-abusive-parenting-may-have-biological-basis

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