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This Maternal Discipline Practice Causes Harm to Young Girls, Study Warns

This Maternal Discipline Practice Causes Harm to Young Girls, Study Warns

A new study published in the journal Child and Adolescent Psychopathology found that harsh maternal discipline practice can cause harm to a young girl child.

According to a new study, harsh parenting approaches increase rumination, making youngsters more sensitive to anxiety and depression. These findings, however, did not hold true in nations where severe parenting is the norm.

Yet, the findings may help us better understand the factors that contribute to mental disease in childhood and adolescence.

According to one idea, anxiety and depression develop as a result of a failure to manage emotions.

Emotional regulation, as described by AnneMarie Iselin and her colleagues, is “people’s attempts to regulate emotions, defined as time-limited, situationally bound, and valenced (positive or negative) states.” Emotional regulation becomes crucial during adolescence, when more strong emotional responses emerge.

Rumination, defined as a “internally passive, perseverative, and unproductive process in which the person dwells on their negative mood, including its meaning, what caused it, and what might happen as a result of it (Nolen-Hoeksema et al., 2008),” is regarded as a symptom of poor emotional regulation. Prior research has linked rumination to adolescent depression and anxiety.

Corporal punishment, as well as verbal and psychological abuse, are examples of harsh parenting tactics. Previous research has linked these parenting practices to greater adolescent rumination. This is particularly true in societies where severe parenting is not the norm.

As a result, Iselin and her colleagues wanted to see if adolescents who experienced severe parenting had more rumination and greater rates of anxiety and despair. The researchers also expected that this association would be less in countries where harsh punishment is more prevalent.

Participants in the study

Participants in the study were from Italy, Columbia, and the United States and were part of the Longitudinal Parenting Across Cultures study. In total, 567 moms, 428 dads, and 566 children were dispersed evenly between the three sites. When the children were 10, 12, and 13 years old, data was collected three times.

Parents answered questions about their personal discipline strategies and what they understood about discipline techniques in their culture to complete a measure of parental discipline.

Furthermore, the youngsters completed measures of rumination as well as anxiety and sadness symptoms.

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Harsh Maternal Discipline Practice Causes Depression and Anxiety in Young Girls

According to data analysis, harsh mother discipline was associated with higher rates of rumination. It was also linked to higher scores on depression and anxiety assessments in girls than in boys. Paternal harsh discipline seems to have little effect on either male or female children.

Also, where harsh mother discipline was more normalized, its association with rumination, anxiety, and depression lessened slightly, although it did not disappear completely.

These findings could imply that mother-daughter connections play a role in female anxiety and sadness during adolescence.

The study’s weaknesses were noted by the researchers. Firstly, they only looked at the association between ruminating and anxiety and depression. Consequently, there are certainly other factors that influence their development.

Secondly, the parental assessments of harsh discipline were self-reported, introducing bias into the results. Moreover, the young participants’ perspectives of what constitutes “severe discipline” may differ, making the parental assessment less valid in this scenario.

Notwithstanding these reservations, the research team believes they have made significant progress in identifying the environmental factors that may make adolescent girls sensitive to anxiety or depression.

“Intervention and prevention efforts mitigating negative parenting behaviors while taking norms into account and enhancing adolescents’ emotion regulation abilities during early adolescence could ultimately have far-reaching effects that improve the psychological well-being of children around the world,” they concluded.

Things to Keep in Mind

Disciplining a young girl child requires a delicate balance between setting appropriate boundaries and expectations while also demonstrating compassion and understanding.

Here are some pointers that might be useful:

Be consistent: When it comes to disciplining children, consistency is essential. Establish explicit norms and punishments, and ensure that they are constantly enforced.

Be a good role model: Because children learn by imitation, it’s critical to imitate the behavior you want to see in your child. Offer others respect, politeness, and empathy, and avoid using harsh or disparaging language.

Positive reinforcement is more effective than negative reinforcement. Recognize and praise your child’s positive acts and accomplishments.

Physical punishment, such as spanking or beating, can be destructive to a child’s emotional well-being and teach them that violence is an appropriate method to handle problems. Instead, employ non-physical means of discipline, such as time-outs or loss of privileges.

Promote open communication: Make sure that your child feels comfortable discussing their feelings and concerns with you. Promote an open conversation by listening carefully and empathizing, and avoid dismissing or trivializing their emotions.

Explain why rules exist: Youngsters are more inclined to follow rules if they understand why they exist. Explain the reasoning for the restrictions you’ve established to your child, and use age-appropriate language to help them comprehend.

Keep in mind that each child is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. To help your child grow into a responsible and loving adult, you must be patient, adaptable, and willing to alter your approach as needed.

What to Do When Your Girl Child Misbehaves

When your girl child misbehaves, it’s critical to respond calmly and assertively. Here are some things you can do:

[1] Define clear boundaries: Make absolutely sure your youngster understands what behavior is and is not appropriate. Explain your expectations and consequences for misconduct clearly.

[2] Ask your child what happened and why they acted the way they did. Listen to their side of the story and try to comprehend their point of view.

[3] Be cool: It is critical to remain calm and avoid becoming angry or irritated. Yelling at or punishing your child in rage can aggravate the situation and harm your relationship with your child.

[4] Get outside help: If your child’s misbehavior is frequent or severe, seeking outside help from a counselor, therapist, or other expert may be beneficial. They might offer further guidance and help in coping with the situation.

Remember that parenting is a journey, and it’s normal to make mistakes. Be patient with yourself and your child, and concentrate on creating a pleasant and supportive atmosphere in which your child can grow and learn.

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