A recent Viennese study of quail behavior adds weight to both sides of the nature versus nurture debate. Previous studies have proven that stress while pregnant impacts the offspring’s development, hormone levels, and behavior. But this recent study shows that social stress, in particular, has an especially strong outcome. What does this mean in practice, for humans? It means that children aren’t isolated from their parents’ social environments. Studies like this make a case for the physiological impact of social stress, but there are very likely psychological and inter-familial impacts as well. How we spend our time affects how we see the world, which affects how we treat others. Negative, stressful, competitive social relationships among adults not only wear away at those adults’ mental health, but they influence how those adults treat their kids when they return home. Maintaining negative friendships for the sake of social obligation may not be worth it after all.
© Copyright 2011 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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