Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Marital conflict causes stress in children, may affect cognitive development

Date:
March 28, 2013
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Marital conflict is a significant source of environmental stress for children. Witnessing such conflict may harm their stress response systems, affecting their mental and intellectual development. Research findings suggest that stress from marital conflict can hinder children's development of cognitive ability.

Marital conflict is a significant source of environmental stress for children, and witnessing such conflict may harm children's stress response systems which, in turn, may affect their mental and intellectual development.

Related Articles


These conclusions come from a new study by researchers at Auburn University and the Catholic University of America. The study appears in the journal Child Development.

Researchers looked at 251 children from a variety of backgrounds who lived in two-parent homes. The children reported on their exposure to marital conflict when they were 8, providing information on the frequency, intensity, and lack of resolution of conflicts between their parents. The study gauged how children's stress response system functioned by measuring respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an index of activity in the parasympathetic branch of the body's stress response system. RSA has been linked to the ability to regulate attention and emotion. Children's ability to rapidly solve problems and quickly see patterns in new information also was measured at ages 8, 9, and 10.

Children who witnessed more marital conflict at age 8 showed less adaptive RSA reactivity at 9, but this was true only for children who had lower resting RSA. In addition, children with lower baseline RSA whose stress response systems were also less adaptive developed mental and intellectual ability more slowly.

"The findings provide further evidence that stress affects the development of the body's stress response systems that help regulate attention, and that how these systems work is tied to the development of cognitive ability," explains J. Benjamin Hinnant, assistant professor of psychology at the Catholic University of America and one of the researchers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Benjamin Hinnant, Mona El-Sheikh, Margaret Keiley, Joseph A. Buckhalt. Marital Conflict, Allostatic Load, and the Development of Children's Fluid Cognitive Performance. Child Development, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12103

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Marital conflict causes stress in children, may affect cognitive development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328080225.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2013, March 28). Marital conflict causes stress in children, may affect cognitive development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328080225.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Marital conflict causes stress in children, may affect cognitive development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328080225.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins