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Study: Harsh Parenting and Child Anxiety

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The University of Montreal is doing a study to investigate the link between corporal punishment and the development of anxiety disorders in children. Previous studies have shown that “…coercive parenting practices are linked to anxiety,” according to Professor Françoise Maheu of the Université de Montréal's Department of Psychiatry.

Coercive or harsh parenting and corporal punishment not only cause anxiety but also may change neural connections in children’s developing brains by altering their biochemistry. So in addition to anxiety, the continued stress may cause permanent physical changes in the brain along with psychological problems.

The hypothesis is that the amygdala and anterior congulate cortex, which help to regulate emotion and memory, are physically affected by harsh parenting. This is the same general area of the brain involved in anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. It is important to study this issue because early intervention to prevent neural and biochemical changes can prevent future issues such as alcoholism related to poor coping skills in adults with anxiety problems.

The university is recruiting 120 children aged 12-17 who will be split into four groups. They will undergo functional MRI to see how the brain reacts to behavioral testing. This will help show the correlation between anxiety and brain function.

Anxiety disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of nature and nurture. Genetics, biochemical imbalances, and stressors such as a difficult home life all contribute to anxiety in children. Parents with poor coping skills are unable to teach children how to cope with stress, multiplying the problem.

More and more research is being done with functional MRI. Findings often demonstrate that there is not only a psychological or “mind” component to these problems, but physical changes in the brains chemistry and neural connections.

The goal is to find how genetics and environment interact, so professionals can intervene early to lessen the chronic issues that may contribute to physical changes in the brain.

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EmpowHER Guest

U.S. Government HYPOCRITES are Politicizing Children's Fundamental Human/Civil/Constitutional Right to be free from physical/corporal punishment in schools; allowing public schools to force religious child rearing values on others/Federal Legislation H.R. 5628 "Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act" in Danger of Dying in Congress TODAY, September 24, 2010!!!!

U.S. Government HYPOCRITES legally allow school children to be physically/corporal punished by school employees in 20 states today! America also helped draft the U.N. Convenant on the Rights of the Child, yet only the U.S. and Somalia (plan to sign soon) have failed to ratify the Covenant!

20 states school disciplinary practices promote violence and sexual abuse of children. Physical/Corporal Punishment is especially disturbing as today it is legal for teachers to hit school children with wooden paddles to deliberately inflict physical pain and suffering as punishment in schools in 20 U.S. states, (these actions constitute sexual assault when done to a non-consenting adult),when the practice is already illegal in schools in 30 states and prohibited by Federal law in prisons and juvenile detention centers. An Enfield, Conn. High School Teacher is facing sexual assault charges after being accused of spanking a female student in class in stark contrast to a recent incident where over a dozen high school girls in Alabama received "Spankings" for prom dresses that were too revealing. Note the disparity. For a real education of what is really happening to our children in our tax-payer funded schools simply type "A Violent Education" and "School is Not Supposed to Hurt" into an internet search engine to review recent shocking reports.

U.S. Congress H.R. 5628 "Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act" was introduced to Congress on June 29th by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and is about to be put on a SHELF due to lack of votes in support of the ban, as it requires 25 votes to move it on to the next stage: as of July 27th it had 21 votes.

Please don't allow our children's fundamental human/civil/constitutional rights to be Politicized.

Please urge your U.S. Congress Rep. to Co-Sponsor/Support H.R. 5628 "Ending Physical/Corporal Punishment in Schools Act"

September 27, 2010 - 6:45am
(reply to Anonymous)

Anonymous, thank you for visiting the site, reading the article, and sharing this information.

September 27, 2010 - 6:53am
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