Monday, December 7, 2009

Working memory and parental negativity

Yes, it was a nice weekend, thank you. Back in the swing today, it seems that the more working memory you have, the easier it is for your frontal cortex to over-rule your brain stem when it just wants you to whack somebody. It's called self-regulation and is considered a good thing to have when you're raising kids.

So some researchers decided to look at working memory and reactive parenting, which, from the Science Daily article, seems to mean acting negatively toward the kid when the kid misbehaves. They had mothers of twins work with their kids, one at a time, on an Etch-A-Sketch and a tilting maze with a marble in it. Apparently they wanted it to be frustrating enough for kid to do something mom didn't like, to see how she reacted.

I wonder why they would use twins. I can't get to the original study without subscribing to the journal to find out why.

Then they gave a bunch of cognitive tests to the mothers. The ones who were most negative to their kids' "challenging behaviors" were the ones who had the worst working memory.

The authors point out that consistent negativity is correlated with child abuse and suggest that parenting classes include strategies to improve parents' working memory.

No comments:

Post a Comment