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​News | Study: Mothers who have parenting stress show reduced ability to tune in to child

Published on: 02-Sep-2019

The latest research shows that parenting stress will lead to mothers’ reduced ability to tune in to their child’s emotions, hence harming their relationship. NTU researchers analysed the brain activity of 31 pairs of mother and child 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. The specific brain region monitored for synchrony was the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with the ability to understand others’ point of view. Senior author of the research, Asst Prof Gianluca Esposito, from NTU School of Social Sciences said, “Our observations likely stem from the stressed mother's reduced ability to share her child's perspective. This inability to appreciate the child’s viewpoint may reduce the quality of parental engagement and undermine the mother-child relationship in the long run.”

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