Emotional support from parents determines stress response in young adults, finds study

Emotional support from parents determines stress response in young adults, finds study

Some phases of life can be stressful. But everyone does not handle stress the same way. While some are adept at dealing with stressful situations positively, others give in to the challenges. Differences in stress responses say a lot about the way people are brought up or taught to deal with difficult circumstances. Now, a new study discusses the link between emotion socialization and responses to stressful situations.

In the study titled “Emotion socialization as a predictor of physiological and psychological responses to stress,” a group of researchers suggested that parental responses to wards’ emotions during childhood determine their ability to cope with stressful situations after they turn young adults. The study was published recently in the journal Physiology & Behavior.

Associating emotion socialization with ease of communication

The researchers have stressed how preventing children from communicating their negative emotions can lead to them struggling with emotional issues. They carried out the study to find out the differences based on traits like parental emotion socialization and responses (physical and mental) to stress based on characteristics, such as gender and ethnic diversities. The authors observed 973 young adults where they were required to complete a social stress test. They then examined the respondents for heartbeat, blood pressure and salivary cortisol.

Evaluation of the participants revealed that those born to parents who had been emotionally unsupportive exhibited reduced levels of cortisol. The researchers said that this could be owing to recurring exposure to stress in childhood. Strict parenting affects the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis while reducing the body’s reactivity state to stress with time, they explained.

However, the study observed that those with emotionally supportive parents exhibited greater tendencies of effort mobilization that resulted in them trying harder to overcome stressful experiences. Having emotionally unsupportive guardians led to greater negativity during the stress test, the findings of which were heightened in female and African-American participants.

Significance of findings

The facts ­ emotion socialization affects stress responses during later stages of life and the distinctions in stress responses between people of various ethnic groups or those belonging to opposite gender ­ can be used to carry out further research in finding ways to combat stress. The results can also be utilized to better understand those methods that result in grave and acute stress responses. The findings further underscore the significance of parenting techniques that can be used to develop necessary interventions to target specific groups of teenagers.

If left untreated, undue stress can result in a host of mental illnesses. While the causes of stress may be myriad, parents and guardians must understand that their reactions to various situations determine the way their wards would react in similar situations or the kind of effect it can have on their psychological health. Prolonged stress can also cause depression and anxiety. Psychologists suggest that people should engage in social activities and exercise on a regular basis to get rid of stress.

If you are grappling with acute stress or anxiety, seek professional help immediately. Experts at Sovereign Health not only help people get rid of serious mental health problems like depression and anxiety but also support them during the rehabilitation process. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-973-7164 to know about our mental health rehab in California offering a comprehensive treatment plan for disorders like depression and anxiety. You may also get in touch with our online representatives for more information about our mental health rehab in Los Angeles.

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