Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did anyone else feel claustrophobic growing up in a small family? Mine was me, my brother and our mom and dad, and little contact with extended family, except at holidays - they all lived several states away. I always craved contact with the rest of the family - we never got to see them enough for my taste, and I hated leaving them. Going back to our isolated family always felt so incredibly lonely.Family can mitigate risk for anxiety, abuse
DAVIS, Calif., May 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. study challenges the view that people with some genotypes are at greater risk for depression, anxiety and abuse of drugs and alcohol, researchers said.
The researchers studied infant monkeys from four different rearing conditions to examine how social context and different forms of early adversity interact with genotype to influence behavior.
Animals reared in small social groups were more likely to be aggressive and anxious, particularly among those with a low activity MAOA genotype. However, no genotype effects were evident in monkeys reared in larger social cages.
Senior author John Capitanio of the University of California, Davis, said there are some circumstances in a child's development -- such as abusive parenting -- that everyone would agree constitute "adversity."
The study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, said even though an infant may be reared with its nurturing mother, the relative absence of other social partners, for both the mother and the infant, can result in the infant developing an anxious style of responding to challenges, particularly if it possesses a "risky" genotype.
"Animals that were raised in rich, complex settings with mothers, other kin, and peers, were completely protected from the potentially deleterious effects of having the 'risky' form of the MAOA gene," Capitanio said in a statement.
Having a larger group of people to interact with would reduce whatever effect your parents' idiosyncrasies would have on you (and you on them). Nuclear families are so small, they act like echo chambers, magnifying whatever traits people have.
And of course, our genes evolved for living in relatively stable groups of 30-50 people, not 4 people...
So, how big was your family in your formative years (say up to age 10 or so), and do you think it contributed to your anxiety? Did you feel claustrophobic growing up?
I think it definitely contributed to my SA - my parents were not the best social role models, and they had a huge influence on me. Having more contact with the rest of the family might have really helped.