Children showing signs of social withdrawal in risk of internalized distress

June 12, 2014

Children are showing signs of social withdrawal are more susceptible to parental influences than others. These children were also more prone to distress caused by the impacts of guilt-inducing parenting.

The researchers of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, have found that children showing signs of social withdrawal are more susceptible to parental influences than others. The researchers followed up about 300 children across the first three years of and monitored the children's social skills and . At the same time, mothers' and fathers' were assessed. The study was funded by the Academy of Finland and the Alli Paasikivi foundation.

The results showed that children showing signs of social withdrawal in kindergarten were more prone to parental impacts later on in school than others. For example, a low level of maternal affection was evident as an increased level of conduct problems among socially withdrawn children in particular. These children were also more prone to the impacts of guilt-inducing parenting deployed by mothers and fathers: guilt-inducing parenting of either parent increased internalized distress and depressive symptoms clearly more among socially withdrawn children than among other children.

On the other hand, the results surprisingly showed that guilt-inducing parenting deployed by mothers decreased the of socially withdrawn children. The researchers suggest that children showing signs of may have a heightened risk of pleasing their parents at the cost of their own well-being.

In guilt-inducing parenting, a parent tries to impact on the child's behavior using psychological means rather than direct limit setting. For example, the parent may remind the child how much effort he/she makes for the child or show how ashamed he/she is because of the child's behavior. In previous research, this kind of parenting has been related to increased anxiety and among children and adolescents.

The study will be published (online version already available) in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Explore further: Parent induces guilt, child shows distress

More information: Zarra-Nezhad, M., Kiuru, N., Aunola, K., Zarra-Nezhad, M., Ahonen, T., Poikkeus, A.-M., Lerkkanen M.-K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2014). Social withdrawal in children moderates the association between parenting styles and the children's own socioemotional development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Online: 2014, May 5. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.12251/pdf

Related Stories

Parent induces guilt, child shows distress

March 23, 2013
The use of guilt-inducing parenting in daily parent-child interaction causes children distress still evident on the next day, emerges from the study Parents, teachers, and children's learning (LIGHT) carried out by Kaisa ...

Mothers' symptoms of depression predict how they respond to child behavior

May 15, 2014
Depressive symptoms seem to focus mothers' responses on minimizing their own distress, which may come at the expense of focusing on the impact their responses have on their children, according to research published in Psychological ...

Genes play key role in parenting

March 20, 2014
Scientists have presented the most conclusive evidence yet that genes play a significant role in parenting.

The parenthood paradox: Certain parenting beliefs are detrimental to mothers' mental health

July 5, 2012
Does being an intense mother make women unhappy? According to a new study by Kathryn Rizzo and colleagues, from the University of Mary Washington in the US, women who believe in intensive parenting - i.e., that women are ...

World first project to help children with special needs

May 21, 2014
In a world first, Monash University researchers will lead a new project that will provide a public health approach, evidence based, parenting support to parents of children with a disability.

Why parenting can never have a rule book

September 3, 2013
Any parent will tell you that there is no simple recipe for raising a child. Being a parent means getting hefty doses of advice – often unsolicited – from others. But such advice often fails to consider a critical factor: ...

Recommended for you

Children with fragile X syndrome have a bias toward threatening emotion

August 23, 2017
Anxiety occurs at high rates in children with fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of inherited intellectual disability. Children with co-occurring anxiety tend to fare worse, but it can be hard to identify in infants. ...

So-called "bright girl effect" does not last into adulthood

August 23, 2017
The notion that young females limit their own progress based on what they believe about their intelligence—called the "bright girl effect"—does not persist into adulthood, according to new research from Case Western Reserve ...

Like adults, children show bias in attributing mental states to others

August 22, 2017
Young children are more likely to attribute mental states to characters that belong to the same group as them relative to characters that belong to an outside group, according to findings published in Psychological Science, ...

High moral reasoning associated with increased activity in the human brain's reward system

August 22, 2017
Individuals who have a high level of moral reasoning show increased activity in the brain's frontostriatal reward system, both during periods of rest and while performing a sequential risk taking and decision making task ...

Yoga and meditation improve mind-body health and stress resilience

August 22, 2017
Many people report positive health effects from practicing yoga and meditation, and experience both mental and physical benefits from these practices. However, we still have much to learn about how exactly these practices ...

Wealth disparity and family income impact the brain development of female youth

August 22, 2017
Female teenagers living in neighbourhoods with wide salary gaps and a low-income household show changes to their brain maturation that could indicate a higher risk of developing mental illness in adulthood, suggests a recently ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.