Washington: A new study has concluded that your childhood experiences can shape up the well-being and moral capacities of your adulthood.
The research undertaken by University of Notre Dame professor of psychology Darcia Narvaez and colleagues Lijuan Wang and Ying Cheng, associate professors of psychology have showed that the childhood experiences that match with evolved needs lead to better outcomes in adulthood.
Narvaez believed that one of the reasons that the well-being of children in the United States lags behind that of children in other advanced nations is because we have forgotten that we are social mammals with specific evolved needs from birth.
The research showed that adults who report receiving more of such parenting practices in their childhoods display less depression and anxiety, greater ability to take the perspective of others and an orientation toward compassion.
While adults who report less of these parenting practices in their childhood have poorer mental health, more distress in social situations and are less able to take another’s point of view.
In prior research, Narvaez and her colleagues found that children who experienced more of the evolved developmental niche exhibit, for example, more empathy, self-control and conscience.
Darcia pointed out that the study showed that when we don’t provide children with what they evolved to need, they turn into adults with decreased social and moral capacities.
With toxic stress in childhood, the good stuff doesn’t get a chance to grow and you become stress reactive. It’s hard to be compassionate when you are focused on yourself.
We can see adults all around us who were traumatized or undercared for at critical times, he added.
The study is published in the Journal Applied Developmental Science. (ANI)