Effects of Parental Stress on Child Development

Effects of parental stress on child development.

effects of parental stress

Photo by Pedro Figueras from Pexels

We know that parents tend to worry a lot about their children.  But have you considered the long-term effects of this anxiousness on the child’s development? “Research of over 1,000 families found that stressed-out parents are more likely to raise their children with worse grades and higher levels of anxiety, despair, and violence.”

Students in psychology commonly seek assistance from a custom essay writing service while dealing with difficult issues. They will be able to get all of the information they require right here. This blog will provide them with sufficient knowledge. As we progress, start forming points!

Children with parents who are stressed out tend to develop more negative emotions and less empathy towards others. They get affected by parental stress in a variety of ways. They may be:

  • Angry, defiant, and disruptive
  • Hostile, withdrawn, and depressed
  • Anxious or fearful
  • Impulsive or hyperactive

Child developmental consequences of tensed parents

Children are almost entirely reliant on their parents for almost all of their needs while they are young. They are meant to trust that their parents will take care of them and give them everything they require; unfortunately, this is not always achievable. We all face challenges, and the majority of us are capable of overcoming obstacles that come our way. However, our coping strategies can be overwhelmed from time to time, and this can have a long-lasting effect on our children.

Many families are concerned about parental tension. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including unemployment, illness, family death, divorce, and others.

Dealing with the pressure is difficult enough, but the real issue is what occurs next. When their parents are upset, it is difficult for children to feel safe, making them more prone to become frightened and harder to control. If the stress continues for an extended period of time, the child’s development may be harmed for years to come.

The negative impact on their child’s development might result in behavioral issues and learning difficulties. In youngsters, it may also cause melancholy, anxiety, and even hostility. Some serious consequences are listed below:

Emotional needs cannot be substituted for materialistic ones

  • The study involving 3,500 families in Britain and America with children aged five to eight years, showed a direct link between anxious parents and emotional and behavioral issues in their children. 
  • According to Williamson, the data show that a lack of emotional warmth or chaotic home life is more destructive than a lack of material possessions.
  • What happens when a child is repeatedly exposed to stress? Youngsters’ brains may become preoccupied with threat-related thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, this can interfere with their ability to learn new things or solve problems.
  • She stated that toys, games, and fast food were not the key to preventing these impacts. In fact, “It’s surprising,” Then she further added. “Having money doesn’t necessarily protect families from problems like these.” This solid argument can be useful for psychology students while choosing cause and effect essay topics related to child development.

Effects on child’s sound decision-making power in life

  • Stress generated by their parent’s actions may play a critical role among all of the elements that cause children to make mistakes and consequently face issues in the future.
  • One of the most prevalent reasons for this is when a parent gives the child the wrong kind of motivation, which eventually causes him or her to make poor decisions in the future. The question arises “Why are parents unable to properly guide their children?” Because people make more blunders when they are not in a serene mental state. 
  • Some parents are concerned that if their children are overly reliant on them while they are young, they may be unable to make independent decisions. However, this is not the case; children learn to make decisions when they are young and practice it throughout their lives so that when it comes to more complex decisions in life, they will be able to do it as adults.

How do poor finance and emergency handling situations impact children?

  • A parent must accept responsibility for decisions affecting a child’s life or death. They are the ones that not only keep their children safe but also instill in them the value of accepting responsibility for their own actions. Agreed?
  • Children’s confidence can get shattered and their nerves get frayed as a result of their parents’ inability to fulfill this task.
  • Due to financial, work, and family issues, the parents are generally under a lot of stress. Due to this, the parent will be unable to effectively perform their duties. There is a risk that the youngster will take on additional duties because their parents are too stressed to fulfill their obligations.
  • If the youngster has siblings, they may try to help out around the house by completing activities such as cleaning or cooking. Additionally, they may go out of their way to assist you, no matter what the reason may be. In this way, they can do something around the house that they believe will help alleviate some of their parents’ stress levels.
  • The parents should instill in their children what is important about finance management. It is the responsibility of parents to lay a foundation for their children so that when they need it, it is there for them.

“Optimism vs. pessimism” influence on child’s thought patterns

  • Everyone has a good attitude on life from the moment they are born. They have a positive outlook since the world is a wonderful place to raise a family. Large, vibrant, and jam-packed with fun activities, this city has it all.
  • Then there are the negative influences of the environment around them that children have struggled with. The trauma of their early childhood is compounded. As a result, the world has lost its luster. They become more pragmatic and cynical in their outlook on life, and eventually, lose faith in other people.
  • Researcher Richard Weissbourd, a psychologist at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said the findings are another example of the “cycle of disadvantage” that can be passed down from generation to generation.
  • If you’re pessimistic and have a high amount of stress in your own parenting, it will show up as overactive parenting, he explained.
  • However, can parental stress permanently alter your outlook on life? Not indefinitely, at least. You can succeed if you get the correct support! Is it capable of altering your core beliefs? Definitely, it is! You better need to step out for counseling and the right advice. 

We are addressing the most frequently asked question in this section;


  • What role does parental stress play in shaping a child’s cognitive style?
  • Are they more pessimistic than others?
  • What are some of the challenges that youngsters may experience when trying to develop an optimistic outlook?
  • The ability of parents to detect and respond appropriately to stressful events is critical in assisting children in dealing with similar situations.
  • Stressful situations not only affect adults but also children who are in close proximity to them, such as children witnessing violent arguments between their parents.
  • It is important for adults to help mitigate the effects by practicing healthy means of coping with stress and conflict resolution in order to avoid passing these habits along to their children.
  • Since neither we nor our children are immune to the impacts of stress, there is no reason to believe that they will be any different. If we are stressed, our children will be too.
  • In this case, it’s not just a matter of them catching up on our subtle cues. It is a direct outcome of the way the brain functions. The body produces stress hormones in reaction to physical or psychological risk.
  • When those hormones rush through our bodies, we feel a fight-or-flight response—the heart races, breathing quickens, senses heighten—and we brace ourselves for action. As a result, the roller coaster of emotionally unbalanced hormones creates significant anxiety in children.

Major effects on the mental health of children

A new study suggests that there could be a link between tensed parents and the mental health of their children. But the research also points to ways to lessen the impact of stress on kids.

Troubled by the findings: 

  • It turned out that parents who had higher levels of stress when their children were 18 months old tended to have children with more behavior problems at age 5. 
  • And at age 9, those same children had more symptoms of depression and anxiety than other kids did. 
  • “It’s an important finding,” says researcher Laura Padilla-Walker, an associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. “I think it will help us better understand how parent-child relationships affect child development.”
  • This is not surprising. What is surprising is that this effect has been as robust as it is. Some of these links have been better than others, but none of them have been particularly weak.
  • This latest research adds to growing evidence that prenatal factors are associated with a child’s risk for a wide range of mental disorders, including autism, ADHD, and depression to schizophrenia.

How parental stress effects can be minimized for child development?

With this information, we can aim to avoid or diminish the negative consequences of parental anxiety on a child’s development.


  • A happy and healthy child should be the mutual desire of both father and mother.
  • When you need help outside of your family, such as counseling, therapy, or other services, you should seek it.
  • You should not rely solely on your fellow partner for all of your social and emotional support; instead, each of you should seek out new acquaintances and build new social networks.
  • As a parent, you can look for community activities that do not involve your children, such as mental health studies, reading clubs, or sports teams for yourself.
  • In order for parents to recharge their batteries, they must find time to do something they enjoy that is not related to their children.
  • You’ll be able to give your children your undivided attention when they need it the most if you eat correctly, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.




There is nothing more precious to a parent than their child. They bring joy to everyone around them, including their parents, grandparents, and other relatives.  But these untainted moments have been under threat with piles of responsibilities weighing the shoulders of the present generation.

Honestly, parental stress will affect the whole family, especially those youngsters still in their early adolescence. Make sure you and your family are protected from distress so that you can savor the mental health of your children.

Author BIO

Pearl Holland is a freelance writer who specializes in mental health issues. Her articles have been featured on various well-known websites including the perfect essay writing platform. Her writing gives hope to inspire, motivate and help others.

Leave a Reply