Unsupportive parenting linked to increased disease risk in offspring
Cold-parenting may have several negative health implications for children, even into their adult years, recent findings suggest.
The study found that the telomeres -- protective caps on the ends of the strands of DNA -- of subjects who considered their mothers' parenting style as "cold" were on average 25% smaller compared to those who reported having a mother whose parenting style they considered "warm."
The research, published in the Journal of Biological Psychology, has found that early-life stress is associated with shorter telomeres, a measurable biomarker of accelerated cellular aging and increased disease risk later in life.
The research takes a closer look at the impact parenting style has on telomere succession. "The way someone is raised seems to tell a story that is intertwined with their genetics," Knutsen said.
The study also examined the impact education and body mass index (BMI) may have on the association between cold parenting and telomere length.
"The association with parenting style was greatest among those with less education, and those who stayed overweight/obese or put on weight during follow-up, suggesting both higher education and normal BMI may provide some resilience against cold parenting and cellular aging," the study stated.