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Psychol Bull. 2002 Mar;128(2):330-66.

Risky families: family social environments and the mental and physical health of offspring.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 90095-1563, USA. repetti@psych.ucla.edu

Abstract

Risky families are characterized by conflict and aggression and by relationships that are cold, unsupportive, and neglectful. These family characteristics create vulnerabilities and/or interact with genetically based vulnerabilities in offspring that produce disruptions in psychosocial functioning (specifically emotion processing and social competence), disruptions in stress-responsive biological regulatory systems, including sympathetic-adrenomedullary and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical functioning, and poor health behaviors, especially substance abuse. This integrated biobehavioral profile leads to consequent accumulating risk for mental health disorders, major chronic diseases, and early mortality. We conclude that childhood family environments represent vital links for understanding mental and physical health across the life span.

PMID:
11931522
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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