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​News | Study: Parenting stress may affect mother-child relationship and child development

Published on: 29-Aug-2019

Channel 8, 6:30pm and online

An NTU research team found that parenting stress may result in a mother and child to be less attuned emotionally, hence affecting their relationship and child development. Using functional Near-infrared Spectroscopy technology, the researchers analysed the brain activity of 31 pairs of mother and child from Singapore while they were watching children’s animation clips together. They found that mothers who reported higher levels of parenting stress had less synchrony in brain activity with their child than those who reported lower levels of parenting stress. Research team member Leck Wan Qing said, “Reduced mother-child brain synchrony means that their relationship is less harmonious. Their mutual understanding of each other and emotional states are also less in-sync.” Asst Prof Gianluca Esposito from NTU’s School of Social Sciences said, “We want to make sure that the general population understands that when you are with your kid, you need to try to be less stressed, and you should try to enjoy the interaction, because this will have a long term benefit for you and your kid.”

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