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Is your parenting style making your child sick?

A growing body of research is finding that the way parents relate to their children affects more than their mental and emotional health. It also has an impact on their physical wellbeing.

In a recent study, researchers compared five separate parenting styles. One particular – called poor monitoring and supervision – was associated with higher levels of inflammation and an overactive immune-system response in the children.

Parents categorised for poor monitoring and supervision scored high on a questionnaire on issues such as whether they check to see if their child comes homes on time and not telling their children where they are going.

“These are parents who don’t know where their kids are and what they’re doing,” says Nick Allen, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon and senior author of the study. “They are probably pushing them to be more independent than they are really ready for and it might be creating some stress for the kids.”

– Sumathi Reddy

Read more: Research Finds Parenting Style Affects Children in Unexpected Ways