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  • Lindsay P. South

Mental health is intergenerational

The mental health impacts of trauma and emotional distress may extend from parents to their children. Yet a positive history of wellbeing could also cross generations.

Your parents’ mental health likely shaped your early social and emotional development, say researchers from Deakin University’s Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development (SEED).

And mounting evidence suggests that your parents’ experiences across their whole lifetimes could have influenced your development. Traumatic or distressing experiences your parents had even decades before your birth may still affect you, found a recent review by SEED researchers.

‘This may be because trauma and distress could have lasting biological and social impacts, influencing future reproductive processes and parenting,’ says lead study author Dr Liz Spry.


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