Family feuds help kids deal with stress

Family feuds help kids deal with stress
Highlights

Children who get exposed to intense verbal aggression in family can better handle intense conflict later in life, finds research.

Washington: Children who get exposed to intense verbal aggression in family can better handle intense conflict later in life, finds research.

"Conflict experiences can be beneficial, by alleviating tension and avoiding conflict escalation, reducing communication apprehension, and contributing to closeness within the relationship," said Lindsey Aloia from Rollins College who conducted the research with Denise Solomon from The Pennsylvania State University.
The researchers tracked 50 romantically involved couples and found that the more intense the conflict interaction was rated between the couples the stronger the physiological stress response to the conflict.
For the experiment the couples provided saliva samples to determine their baseline cortisol levels.
Also known as the “stress hormone”, cortisol is a glucocorticoid (steroid hormone) which is normally released in response to events such as waking up in the morning, exercising, and acute stress.
The couples were then interviewed separately about the most stressful areas of conflict in their relationship and filled out a questionnaire that asked about their childhood experiences with verbal aggression.
Following the interview, partners were asked to sit together and discuss an area of conflict alone for 10 minutes. The sessions were videotaped.
Finally, cortisol levels were calculated to evaluate experiences of stress using the collected saliva samples.
The study was published in the journal Human Communication Research.
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