Children and Stress
The new science on chronically harsh and conflict-ridden households.
Posted Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010, at 10:06 AM
Here is a list of resources and further reading. You can find a wealth of scientific information there, but you might also stop and think for a moment about the plain-and-simple implications of what it tells us. As disturbing as it might be to learn that harshness in the home can damage your child's long-term health, it's not like the antidote is mysterious or expensive. Think of whatever extra warmth, affection, and other stress-minimizing kindness you can give to your child as deposits in his or her psychological bank account that will bear dividends by improving the chances of a long, healthy life.
Alan E. Kazdin, who was president of the American Psychological Association in 2008, is John M. Musser professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale University and director of Yale's Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic.
Carlo Rotella is director of American studies at Boston College.
Illustration by Alex Eben Meyer.