Sunday, April 30, 2023

parenting.. Giving more autonomy is to promote life expectancy

giving autonomy within the framework of the education and parenthood:

Children of overprotective parents tend to live shorter, concludes this study by a team of psychologists and doctors from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), which thus recalls the importance of giving autonomy within the framework of the education and parenthood. Findings published in Scientific Reports that reveal the very impact on the longevity of children's relationships with their parents.

Increased risk of death:

Thus, men who had an overprotective father and little autonomy during their childhood run a 12% higher risk of death before their 80th birthday. Women who have had an overprotective father run a 22% increased risk of death at the same age. On the other hand, women who were protected by their mother during their childhood see their risk of death reduced by 14% at the same age. Finally, men who lived with a single parent in childhood have a 179% higher risk of dying before age 80.

reconcile parenthood data and longevity:

The study followed 941 English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) participants, born in the 1950s and 1960s and who died between 2007 and 2018 (445 women and 496 men). Researchers analyzed data from questionnaires covering many aspects of childhood and life, including family structure, housing, parents' occupation and relationships with parents during childhood and adolescence, as well as as the quality of care and protection provided. The team was thus able to reconcile parenthood data and longevity.

“We demonstrate in figures what has been understood about parenthood for many years. Caring and loving relationships with your father and mother during childhood have lifelong implications. However, for the first time, our results show how parenthood affects longevity,” says lead author Dr. Tiago Silva Alexandre, professor of geriatrics.

"Better living conditions in childhood make it possible to enjoy old age",
adds the author who recalls that authoritarianism, permissiveness and negligence are harmful to the development of children.

The middle way is the best:

it is thus a question of avoiding the intrusion, which deprives the children of autonomy, but also the neglect or the emotional distance which gives them too much. What we call care is: “not neglecting and being present without overprotecting”.

The study is the first to reveal:
  • how the absence of a parent or poor parental relationships can reduce longevity;
  • a lower risk for women well surrounded by their mother, most likely due to low levels of stress during childhood and then in adulthood;
  • how parental relationships profoundly affect child behavior.

And for the last generations?

Although the study focuses on the longevity of the baby boom generation, the researchers believe that the experience of more recent generations is not fundamentally different.

"We know that parents now overprotect their children differently, but that can also have an impact." The study notably highlights a 179% higher risk of dying before the age of 80 for male participants who lived with a single parent when they were children, a situation that today affects more than 15% children.

A difference according to the sex of the Child?

The study indeed highlights a difference between the sexes in terms of the impact on longevity of parental absence or negative parental relationships. Overprotective parents affect the lifespan of girls more than that of boys, and the presence of a mother has a positive effect only on that of girls. Women seem more likely to internalize negative emotions and suffer more frequently from mental disorders, the authors explain, while men are more likely to resort to substance use.
"In any case, these 2 factors are closely linked to longevity."