Stressed out mothers make asthma in children worse

Maternal stress causes asthma in childrenBy Richard Alleyne

Children are more likely to suffer severe asthma if their mothers are stressed, study finds

Angry and irritated mothers or those who try to suppress their emotions can worsen the condition in their offspring, particularly when the children are young.

A year-long study of 223 mothers, investigated what effect their stress levels, coping styles and parenting styles had on their two to 12 year old children who suffered from asthma.

Mothers’ tendencies to reject, dominate, overprotect and indulge their children were assessed by questionnaire, as were their specific kinds of chronic stress and coping styles.

Children over the age of seven suffered worse attacks if their mother was over protective.

But younger children suffered more in the following year if their mother was chronically angry, irritated or suppressed their emotions.

Jun Nagano, of the Kyushu University Institute of Health Science in Japan, said that stressed mothers made children more stressed which increased their suffering from asthma.

He said: “Our results suggest that the mothers of younger children may be advised to pay more attention to the reduction of their own stress.

“Mothers of older children may be encouraged to increase their own wellbeing via proper egocentric and self-defensive activities, being careful to avoid too much interference with their children.”

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