Parenting Style Also Influenced By Genetics And Environment, Study Says

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald February 15, 09:27 pm
Many believe the environment is responsible for how parenting styles develop, but research shows it is also predetermined by genetics.
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A recent study found out that a human being's brain is rewired once he becomes a parent. The researchers observed changes in the neuropeptides of persons who have transitioned into the parenting state. Neuropeptides are molecules that affect brain and body activities such associated with social tolerance, mating, aggression and feeding.

The study from researchers at the University of Georgia, which was published in Nature Communications, hoped to come up with a framework for the genetics of parenting. The experts tested the theory on the burying beetle, scientifically known as Nicrophorus vespilloides, considering its intimate involvement in child raising.

"When [burying beetle] parents feed their babies, they are feeding others rather than themselves," said Allan Moore, lead author and head of the department of genetics, according to Science Daily. "So genes that influence food-seeking behavior are likely to be involved."

Scientists have predicted that certain species undergo changes in their genetics as their parenting characteristics develop. After measuring the neuropeptides of the burying beetle, they discovered abundant changes in the neuropeptides of the parenting insects compared to the non-parenting ones. The researchers believed that the changes in the existing genes manifested parenting behaviors.

The research findings could mean the discovery of a mechanism that would explain how people's lifestyle choices could influence the genes of their children and grandchildren, as per New Scientist. Research shows that diet, smoking, stress and other factors leave their mark on children's genes. It has continued to puzzle geneticists who relied on the scientific principle that the environment does not affect the eggs and sperm's genetic information.

New research also shows how children could inherit more than the skin color or hair of their parents, according to Medical Daily. Michigan State University experts found out that the DNA is responsible for determining how parents are raising their children. With the latest findings, it can be said that parenting style is not only a result of how a person has been brought up, but also by his genetic makeup.

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