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Be a ‘Warm’ Parent to Extend Kids’ Lives

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Cold or unsupportive mothering styles can harm a child’s health into adulthood, Loma Linda University researchers have found. Compared to adults mothered in a “warm” style, adults that had been mothered in a “cold” manner had an average of 25 percent shorter telomeres, indicating faster cellular aging, a shorter life span and greater susceptibility to disease. The study was based on follow-up blood samples of 200 adults originally enrolled in cohort studies of 130,000 people starting in 1976. Those that described their mothering as cold tended to be overweight or obese as adults, with less education. A father’s parenting style had a much smaller effect and was not significant enough to impact telomere length, the authors found.

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