Not genes, negative parenting fosters aggressiveness

December 3rd, 2010 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Syndey, Dec 3 (IANS) A new study has found that the role of positive and negative parenting practices are linked to children’s mental health problems, specifically depression and aggression.

The study, based on offsprings born through in-vitro fertilisation, challenges the theory that inherited genes govern depression and anti-social behaviour.

These results were obtained among a sample of children genetically related to their parents compared to a group of children not genetically related to their parents, reports the journal Psychological Medicine.

The research was led by Gordon Harold who heads the University of Otago’s Centre for Research on Children and Families. He suggests that parenting environment plays a unique role in children’s development, according to an Otago statement.

Harold and colleagues from Cardiff University and University College London compared genetically related and genetically unrelated children born to parents using in-vitro fertilisation.

The study involved the participation of 1,000 families with children aged four to six years from Britain and the US over a three-year period.

The study also found that parents who were hostile towards their children promoted increased levels of aggression in children, but not depression.

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