Washington: A new study has demonstrated that parents who fight may hit a child’s ability to identify and control emotions.
The study conducted by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, suggested that household chaos and prolonged periods of poverty during early childhood may take a substantial toll on the emotional adjustment of young children.
C. Cybele Raver, professor of applied psychology at NYU Steinhardt, said that their study directed to ways in which aggression between parents may powerfully shape children’s emotional adjustment.
Raver added that arguing and fighting was psychologically stressful for the adults caught in conflict and this study demonstrated the costs of that conflict for children in the household as well.
Researchers evaluated the families in a series of home visits from the time a child was two months old through 58 months of age.
Researchers gathered the data through parent questionnaires, administering tasks to the parents and children, and measuring the level of household chaos including the number of times children moved, changes in caregiver, noise levels, cleanliness, and the number of people.
Prolonged exposure to aggression between parents was also linked to children’s ability to regulate their own feelings of sadness, withdrawal, and fear, placing them at greater risk for symptoms of anxiety and depression later on.
The study is published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.