Education has been at the forefront of mental health research and a surprising 2013 study has shed light on education as a marker of mental wellness. The study indicates that educationally underachieving daughters of well-learned mothers deal with increased mental health problems.
Dr. Leigh Tooth and Professor Gita Mishra found education gaps between parent and child, especially mother and daughter, correlating with depression and other mental disorders.
Dr. Tooth and Professor Mishra studied 5,619 women from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health, aged 31 to 36, measuring depressive symptoms against the educational discrepancies between the women and their parents.
“The more highly educated a mother is, the more likely she is to spend direct time with her children and provide them with an academically and educationally enriching care environment,” Dr. Tooth said.
In other words, if the daughter is not performing to her mother’s standards, it could be due to a mental illness. Living with a parent with high standards of education may seem like a privilege, but it could be fraught with pressure.
Advice for parents comes from Lynn Margolies, Ph.D., who finds repeating unconstructive advice, especially tips that haven’t worked before, as an ill-advised strategy. Adopting a positive tone may help the child build self-confidence while dealing with the frustration of feeling inadequate. Addressing a child’s feelings will create sympathetic dialogue for better solutions.
It’s tempting to raise the stakes when a son or daughter isn’t performing well in school, but doing so is more likely to create extraneous pressure. If the child cannot live up to expected standards, he or she may pick up dishonest habits to avoid the consequences.
Name calling is ill-advised, Dr. Margolies says. Accusing the teen of laziness or defiance will over-simplify the issue at best and destroy goodwill at worst. Instead, parents should remain friendly in the hopes of getting the child’s guard down. Only then will the child actually express the true reason behind poor academic performance.
Growing up in a high-pressure household can take a toll on mental health. For these moments of mental distress Sovereign Health Group of Arizona in Chandler has sympathetic therapists ready to listen for troubles and help fix unhealthy thought patterns. Reach out today by calling 866-598-5661 at any time.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer
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