Can Parents Arguing in Front of Their Baby Alter Brain Development?
Let’s face it folks, parents do argue once in a while especially when both have had very little sleep for
months BUT a new study by researchers at the University of Oregon finds that arguing in front of your
baby might sensitize the infant’s brain to stress. They have found that babies react to angry,
argumentative tones of voice, even while sleeping.
Experiencing adversity in the formative years is known to alter a child’s developing brain as researchers
discovered that hearing arguments between parents, even when babies can have an impact on the way
in which the brain functions in later years. Babies from homes with a lot of conflict displayed increased
stress levels when they were exposed to angry tones of voice. This response may make them more likely
to become anxious as adults and not be able to regulate their emotions hence mood disorders may
develop from adolescence onwards.
Findings show that babies are not oblivious to their parents’ conflicts and exposure to these conflicts
could influence the way in which their brains process emotion and anxiety.
The research team from the University of Oregon pointed out that infants’ brains are highly “plastic”
which is necessary to allow them to develop in response to the environments and encounters they
So in conclusion, parents, if you must argue, try to keep it down and if you cannot stop yelling, go
outside or hide in the bathroom far away from the baby. This is not easy, but you can do it for the sake
of your child’s brain development.