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article imageNew study show recession linked to maternal misbehavior

By Amanda Byas     Aug 6, 2013 in Health
The recession has negatively impacted society in a number of ways; increased unemployment, smaller paychecks, and high levels of insecurity.
Now we can add another thing to the list: episodes of maternal misbehavior.
Recently research found a link between mothering styles and economic conditions, which degrade in tandem. Dohoon Lee, a New York University sociologist, led a research team that reports stress and worry caused by the 2008 economic crash led many mothers to have less and less patience with their children.
The researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:
“Harsh parenting was not positively associated with high levels of unemployment, but rather with increases in the unemployment rate and declines in consumer sentiment.”
Researchers also used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study that took place between 1998 and 2000. In this study they tracked about 5,000 children born in the 20 largest American cities. The mothers, who are mostly single parents, were interviewed shortly after they gave birth and a few times over the next couple of years.
During the interviews with the mothers when their child was of certain ages, the mothers reported whether or not they used any of the 10 harsh parenting techniques. Some of the harsh parenting techniques included corporal punishment (spanking, slapping, shaking), while other harsh parenting techniques included emotional abuse (yelling, swearing, threatening). For each category, the mothers had to report how often they engaged in these actions over the past year, on a scale from 0 to more than 20 times.
When the child was nine, they collected saliva from both the mother and the child for genetic testing. The researchers were curious in finding any link between parenting behaviors and genetic markers.
Lee and his fellow colleagues reported that the bad economic news had a negative impact on maternal behavior. Specially, mothers engaged in much harsher parenting behaviors following the 10 percent increase in their city’s unemployment rate.
The results were limited to only 50 percent of women in the study — Those mothers who fit a specific genetic profile that makes them much more sensitive to changes in their own environment.
More about maternal misbehavior, Study, Recession, harsh punishments, corpal punishments
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