IVF study casts light on role of parenting

NZ Herald Dec 3, 2010
A unique long-term study of “test-tube babies” has confirmed that parenting styles as well as genes have major effects on how children turn out. The study has found that angry and aggressive parents are more likely to have angry and aggressive children – even when the children have been conceived with donor eggs and sperm so they are biologically unrelated to their parents. The children are also more likely to be aggressive if their biologically unrelated mothers are cold and distant, and they are more likely to be depressed if their unrelated mothers are depressed. But if unrelated fathers are cold and distant or depressed, they have no perceptible effects on the children. Otago University psychologist Gordon Harold, who led the study, said the findings would help target parenting programmes at parents’ aggressive behaviour towards children such as shouting and getting angry.