Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Parenting and Offspring Brain Development: What Do We Know?

Version 1 : Received: 9 October 2020 / Approved: 14 October 2020 / Online: 14 October 2020 (15:22:41 CEST)

How to cite: Bhanot, S.; Bray, S.; McGirr, A.; Lee, K.; Kopala-Sibley, D.C. Parenting and Offspring Brain Development: What Do We Know?. Preprints 2020, 2020100311 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0311.v1). Bhanot, S.; Bray, S.; McGirr, A.; Lee, K.; Kopala-Sibley, D.C. Parenting and Offspring Brain Development: What Do We Know?. Preprints 2020, 2020100311 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0311.v1).

Abstract

Parenting has been robustly associated with offspring psychosocial development, and these effects are likely reflected in brain development. However, the claim that parenting influences offspring brain development in humans, as measured by structural and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), is subject to numerous methodological limitations. To interpret the state of the parenting and brain development literature, we review these limitations. Four limitations are common. First, most literature has been cross-sectional. Where longitudinal, studies rarely included multiple assessments of brain structure or function, precluding measurement of actual brain development. Second, parenting has largely been measured via selfor parent-report, as opposed to observational assessment. Third, there has been a focus on extreme forms of developmental adversity which do not necessarily lie on a continuum with normative parenting. Fourth, although not a limitation per se, studies have generally focused on negative as opposed to positive parenting behaviours. While not all studies are subject to all these limitations, the study of parenting in relation to offspring brain development is in its infancy.

Subject Areas

Parenting; brain; development; fmri; child development

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