The huge importance of nurturing children has been validated as research into brain development has expanded. What many people know instinctively is now verified by many studies and advances in brain imaging.

A new study recently completed at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., has shown that children who are nurtured have larger hippocampus areas in their brains. Larger hippocampus areas are associated with the ability to handle stress, the ability to form and store memories, the ability to relate memory and emotions, and the mediation of physical stress responses and inflammatory processes.The lack of nurturing and the chronic stress experienced by abused children cause their brains to be in a persistent stress-response mode. A chronic state of even low-level fear or trauma occupies the child’s brain with being on guard for the next stressful experience and affects the development of higher brain functions that deal with emotions, thinking and problem-solving.More and more research has shown that nurturing children has positive effects on their brains and, of course, their lives.

via Nurture children with empathy | Wausau Daily Herald | wausaudailyherald.com.

Dr Michael C Nagel will be describing new developments in our understanding of the teenage brain at the  Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars being held around Australia in 2012