Sara Waters: recent publications

Kids Can Tell When Moms Suppress Their Stress

When mothers suppress stress around their kids, those feelings can actually transmit to their children, according to new research published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

For the study, researchers observed interactions between parents and children ages 7 to 11, and found that children had a physical response when their mothers tried to hide their emotions.

“We show that the response happens under the skin,” said Dr. Sara Waters, assistant professor in Washington State University’s Department of Human Development and corresponding author on the paper.

“It shows what happens when we tell kids that we’re fine when we’re not. It comes from a good place; we don’t want to stress them out. But we may be doing the exact opposite.”

The team

feelings stress emotions parents

Sara Waters

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