Negative Nellies

For decades, researchers have probed the conundrum of genetics vs. environment.  Now new research from Oregon State University suggests that adoptive parents who had a tendency to over-react when their child tested age-appropriate limits or made mistakes, also had children who had “negative emotionality” or acted out and had more temper tantrums.

Health has reported that researchers found that children with  higher increases in negative emotionality from nine to 27 months were also found to have the highest levels of problem behavior at age two.

“Parents’ ability to regulate themselves and to remain firm, confident and not over-react is a key way they can help their children to modify their behavior…You set the example as a parent in your own emotions and reactions,” says lead author Shannon Lipscomb assistant professor of human development at OSU-Cascades.

The study was published in the latest edition of the journal Development and Psychopathology.

What are your thoughts on negative emotions and genetics vs. environment?

Besides the social impact of negative emotions the Atlantic has also reported on the impact of negative emotions and health more specifically their link to heart disease.

While the controversy over negative emotions such as anger and anxiety having a link to heart disease is still very debatable, many experts believe that there is a connection.

Some experts suggest that there is a link between the emotions of anger, anxiety, depression and heart disease.   Their reasoning is that the risky behaviors often associated with those emotions such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise etc. are also contributors to coronary heart disease.

The article goes on to point out that lots of anger has been associated with thickening of the arteries and the development of plaque, which are possible precursors for heart attacks.

It also mentions that a recent meta-analysis incorporating twenty studies and nearly 250,000 individuals found that anxiety is associated with development of coronary heart disease.

Do you think negative emotions such as anger and anxiety have a direct affect a person’s health?

2 responses to “Negative Nellies”

  1. Ed says:

    There is a well-established link between stress, negative emotions, and adverse health outcomes. Want to live longer and happier? Chill out!

  2. Ed – Thanks for the comment!!

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