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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Children's Personalities Linked To Their Chemical Response To Stress

Children with Parents that fight are effected? Really?

Hey folks,

You all know how I feel about Psychology. For those of you who may be new here, I do not agree with MOST in the field of Psychology. I feel some of it is misguided. Some of it is Psychobabble. Some of it is Get Rich Quick schemes. Did you know that there is no such thing as Sex Addiction? Seriously. It is NOT a recognized Mental Disorder nor an Addiction. Yet, there are many that Profit from it. It's like the growing number of people diagnosed with "Bipolar" or ADHD. Hey, a Kid is being a kid, DRUG them and then Mommy can feel better because their Kid is now more easily controlled.

But you also know how I feel about Children. So whenever I see a Study like this, It gets my attention. I have this Press Release that I have read THREE times. I have been going back and forth about to use it or not in Today's "Health and Science Segment." It is interesting, entertaining, and COMPLETELY Idiotic at the same time. OK, OK. Lets do it. Here it is.

Children's Personalities Linked To Their Chemical Response To Stress

ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Is your kid a "dove" - cautious and submissive when confronting new environments, or perhaps you have a "hawk" - bold and assertive in unfamiliar settings?

These basic temperamental patterns are linked to opposite hormonal responses to stress - differences that may provide children with advantages for navigating threatening environments, researchers report in a study published online July 8 in Development and Psychopathology.

"Divergent reactions - both behaviorally and chemically - may be an evolutionary response to stress," says Patrick Davies, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester and the lead author of the study.
Evolutionary of course. So HOW?

"These biological reactions may have provided our human ancestors with adaptive survival advantages. For example, dovish compliance may work better under some challenging family conditions, while hawkish aggression could be an asset in others."

This evolutionary perspective, says Davies, provides an important counterpoint to the prevailing idea in psychology that "there is one healthy way of being and that all behaviors are either adaptive or maladaptive."
So when might a "hawkish aggression" be an "asset" in a "challenging family condition?" REALLY Curious about that, but it does not say.

Coauthor Melissa Sturge-Apple agrees: "When it comes to healthy psychological behavior, one size does not fit all." The assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rochester adds that the findings "give us insight into how basic behavioral patterns are also chemical patterns."

To understand the role of stress in children's reactions, Davies, Sturge-Apple, and Dante Cicchetti, a professor of child development and psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, focused on parental conflict in young families. "Research has shown that exposure to repeated aggression between parents is a significant stressor for children," explains Davies.
WHOA, Whoa whoa. Wait! Children with Parents that fight are effected? Really? We needed STUDIES to show us this?

The study looked at 201 two-year-old toddlers, all from impoverished families with similar socio-economic profiles. Based on interviews and questionnaires with the mothers, the authors assessed children's exposure to levels of aggression between parents.

The researchers also documented the dove or hawk tendencies of the toddlers in a variety of unfamiliar situations. Children who showed dovish tendencies were vigilant and submissive in the face of novelty. The toddlers clung to their mothers, cried, or froze when encountering new surroundings. Hawks used bold, aggressive, and dominating strategies for coping with challenge. They fearlessly explored unknown objects and new environments.

When the researchers exposed the children to a mildly stressful simulated telephone argument between their parents, distinct patterns of hormonal reactions emerged. Children exposed to high levels of interparental aggression at home showed different reactions to the telephone quarrel. Doves with parents who fought violently produced elevated levels of cortisol, a hormone that is thought to increase a person's sensitivity to stress.

Hawks from such stressful home environments put the breaks on cortisol production, which is regarded as a marker for diminishing experiences of danger and alarm.

This high-and-low-cortisol reactivity provides different developmental advantages and disadvantages, the authors write. Heightened cortisol levels characteristic of the doves were related to lower attention problems but also put them at risk for developing anxiety and depression over time. By contrast, the lower cortisol levels for hawks in aggressive families were associated with lower anxiety problems; however, at the same time, these children were more prone to risky behavior, including attention and hyperactivity problems.
OR? Maybe? The "Doves" are those who are in a pretty good family Environment. When their Parents FIGHT, it effects them MORE because it IS rare. These are also those that bottle things up and keep things to themselves over long periods of time. Which means, after a long period of time without Emotional Release, it can effect them . One day all that stuff has to come out. The "Hawks" may be those whose Parents fight all the time. They have become numb to it. Use to it. No big deal. This of course WILL effect them in the long run as well in different ways. But these also may be those that do NOT keep things stewing. They let it out and move on. Perhaps they are NOT happy with the Normal, so they are more open to, and HOPE for, the New. Just saying?

About the University of Rochester

The University of Rochester ( is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by its Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, and Nursing, and the Memorial Art Gallery.
Look, Parents, be good to your Children. They need not know EVERYTHING that goes on in your and your Spouse's lives. Try NOT to fight in front of your Children. IT WILL effect them. Joshua has seen a few "disagreements" between me and his Mom. I'm trying REALLY hard to make sure that Eli sees less. The only thing I have learned about being a Parent, is that your Children NEVER forget, ANYTHING. They SEE EVERYTHING. They ABSORB EVERYTHING.

Now of course I'm not saying you need to shield your kids from Life. Let them LIVE it. But there is also a time and a place to have ADULT conversations. That time and place is NOT in front of your Kids. Joshua is VERY Intelligent. VERY Observant. Well, then again, he IS my Son. {Smile} He KNOWS when things are stressful, or if there is something going on. He WANTS to know and get involved. I try not to shield him too much. If you Portray a "Mayberry" type of reality, he will have issues when he gets older and the TRUE Reality hits him upside the head.

I don't know folks. Like I said, this Study is interesting, entertaining, and COMPLETELY Idiotic at the same time. So? You decide if it is something that interests you.

University of Rochester

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