Published: May 1, 2020

Mental Health Awareness Month Q&A: How stress affects parents and kids

Contact(s): Kristofer Karol MSU College of Nursing, Kim Ward Communication and Brand Strategy office: (517) 432-0117 cell: (734) 658-4250

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and MSU College of Nursing experts are offering tips on how to balance the mind. In this feature, assistant professor Jiying Ling talks about the connection between stress and physical health in parents and their children, especially during a crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: What have you learned in your research about the connection between stress and health, especially in parents and their children?

A: Stressed parents tend to have stressed children. Stress can negatively affect both parents’ and children’s weight status and lifestyle behaviors, such as sleep time and physical activity level. Stressed parents are more likely to watch TV and drink alcohol. Most importantly, parents’ coping ability is a buffer that can weaken the influence of stress on children’s health.

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