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Parental conflict can do lasting damage to kids []


It stands to reason that parents who physically or emotionally abuse their children do them lasting damage, among other things by undermining their ability to trust others and accurately read their emotions.

But what about the children of parents who experience simple, everyday conflict?

New research published in the current issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships shows that the emotional processing of these children, too, can be affected -- potentially making them over-vigilant, anxious and vulnerable to distorting human interactions that are neutral in tone, throwing them off-balance interpersonally as adults.

"The message is clear: even low-level adversity like parental conflict isn't good for kids," said Alice Schermerhorn, an assistant professor in the University of Vermont's Department of Psychological Sciences and the lead author of the study.

[For more on this study by the University of Vermont, go to]

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Advancing Parenting's tips 31 and 44 speak to this issue.  Visit to order any of the parenting tips bumper stickers.  Parenting tips on vehicles will be read 1000s of times by 1000s of people for years to come.

When you stop at a light you can watch the car behind in the rear view mirror.  The drivers and passengers reactions to reading the tips are memorable.

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