Document Detail

Roots of Empathy: responsive parenting, caring societies.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14748476     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
What is common in aggression and in abusive/neglectful parenting is low levels of empathy. Fostering empathy--the ability to identify with another person's feelings--can serve as an antidote to aggression and is crucial to good parenting. Poor parenting and aggression cut across all socioeconomic levels of the community and, as such, empathy needs to be fostered in all children. During the period of rapid brain development, adversity has a devastating impact on the baby's developing brain. Repeated experiences of stress are hardwired into the brain, creating damaging pathways. Risk factors such as domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, maternal depression, maternal addictions, and poverty are not just additive to the vulnerable developing brain; they are multiplicative in their impact. The parent is the baby's lifeline, mitigating stress for them and helping them to learn to regulate their emotions. The impact of poor parenting on a child's life is profound, resulting in insecure attachments which lead to a spectrum of inadequate coping mechanisms, poor emotional regulation, diminished learning potential and low competence. Responsive and nurturing parenting is the key to optimal early childhood development; it allows the young brain to develop in a way that is less aggressive and more emotionally stable, social and empathic. Good early childhood development leads to good human development. We must match our investment where the opportunity is most ripe--building parenting capacity. The 'Roots of Empathy' program offers real hope in breaking the intergenerational transference of poor parenting and violence.
Mary Gordon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Lectures    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Keio journal of medicine     Volume:  52     ISSN:  0022-9717     ISO Abbreviation:  Keio J Med     Publication Date:  2003 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-01-29     Completed Date:  2004-02-26     Revised Date:  2008-08-07    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376354     Medline TA:  Keio J Med     Country:  Japan    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  236-43     Citation Subset:  IM    
Roots of Empathy Program, Toronto, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Parent-Child Relations*
Social Values*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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