comment: BUT WHAT IF THE PARENTS ARE STRESSED OUT
THEMSELVES BY THE AFTERMATH OF ROAD TRAFFIC CONGESTION & ROAD
TRAFFIC NOISE, AIR POLLUTION, AIRCRAFT NOISE: E.G. ASTHMA,
SLEEP DEPRIVATION, TENSION, DEPRESSION, WORRIED SICK ABOUT THEIR
CHILDREN'S HEALTH AND EDUCATION??? OUR LEADERS ARE
CHANTING A NEW MANTRA. THEY ARE SAYING: LET'S NOT
BLAME OURSELVES WHO ARE CAUSING THE PROBLEMS, LET'S PUT THE GUILT
ON THE VICTIMS WE ARE CREATING, I.E. THE PARENTS, OR EVEN THE
CHILDREN ........ AFTER ALL, THIS BLAME-THE-VICTIM-TREND IS
THE LATEST FAD IN THE USA........IT'S ALL THE RAGE IN THE BIG END
Friday May 21 5:50 PM ET
Good parenting is antidote to urban stress
NEW YORK, May 21 (Reuters Health) -- Good parenting -- including nurturing, discipline, and high expectations -- helps poor children overcome many traumatic events that can plague inner-city youngsters, according to researchers in Rochester, New York.
Inner-city children whose parents do not have good parenting skills are more likely to be derailed by stressful events in their environment, and consequently to be poorly adjusted and at risk for failure in school and life, psychologist Peter Wyman and colleagues from the University of Rochester report in the May/June issue of Child Development.
In the study, Wyman and colleagues evaluated 122 children, aged 7 to 9, from 11 urban schools. Based on questionnaires completed by their parents and teachers, 69 were classified as ''resilient'' or well-adjusted, while 53 were judged poorly adjusted.
The two groups were similar in terms of poverty (about half the children's families had annual incomes under $15,000), and exposure to stressful events such as neighborhood violence, family turmoil, family separation, and death or illness of a family member.
The researchers found that the quality of parenting was the most sensitive predictor of a child's ``resiliency.''
``Parents of resilient, compared to maladjusted, children reported more nuturant involvement with their children in the preschool and school-age periods, greater discipline consistency and use of more authoritative discipline practices, and more positive expectations for their children's futures,'' Wyman and colleagues write.
The investigators also found that children whose temperament was considered ``easy'' and whose parents were in good mental health also were more resilient than youngsters who were considered difficult or whose parents' mental health was poor.
Surprisingly, parents with good parenting skills did not always come from happy homes. ``The present findings suggest that some parents can develop an orientation toward responsive caregiving, and a close, nurturant relationship with their children...even after having experienced abuse or neglect in their own childhood,'' the researchers write.
They suggest that future studies should focus on ``how a parent, under conditions of major adversity, creates and maintains a responsive caregiving environment.''
SOURCE: Child Development 1999;70:645-659.
last update 24 Oct 1999
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