I think toxic stress is something both fascinating and scary. I read two new studies that are closely related to this theme.
This first study by Ravindran et al is about mothers:
When children become upset, showing negative emotions or behaviors, some parents become distressed, while others are able to talk their child through the difficult situation. Studies have shown that a mothers’ reaction — positive or negative — to her child’s negative emotions can predict whether her child develops the ability to effectively regulate his emotions and behavior. A new study explores potential predictors of mothers’ supportive or non-supportive behavior during emotional challenges.
The second study by Lewis et al is about fathers:
While the link between mothers’ depression and depression in their children is well-established, the new Lancet Psychiatry study is the first to find an association between depression in fathers and their teenaged children, independent of whether the mother has depression, in a large sample in the general population. The effects of fathers’ and mothers’ depression on their children’s symptoms were similar in magnitude.
While I was reading both studies, I did had the feeling that this would be for some readers like saying to somebody “Sorry, I have to tell you you have a severe hearth disease, but please don’t panic.” Do note that both studies are rather describing a link and a bigger chance, just to give some hope.