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​News | Parenting stress could lead to poor mother-child relationships: NTU study

Published on: 29-Aug-2019

TODAY
 
When parents are constantly stressed about raising their little ones, it could impair their parent-child relationship in the long run. Mothers who reported higher levels of parenting stress, for example, had a weaker connection with their child. These were some of the key findings of a new study done by researchers from NTU. By assessing the level of stress among mothers, and then monitoring their brain activity and that of their children while they were watching short animation clips, the researchers observed that mothers who posted higher levels of parenting stress had less synchrony in brain activity with their child. Asst Prof Gianluca Esposito from NTU’s School of Social Sciences, the principal investigator of the study, said that a mother who is stressed is likely to have a “reduced ability” to share her child’s perspective. Asst Prof Esposito, who also leads the Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab (San-Lab) at NTU, said: “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.” The paper’s first author, Ms Atiqah Azhari, a PhD candidate at San-Lab, said: “If you look at (what constitutes) parenting stress… a lot it (comes from) just wanting to be a better mum. “What our study shows is that sometimes, that stress itself is counterproductive to what you’re trying to achieve.”

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