For low-income children, relationship with parent key to health

Educators, health care providers and researchers have known for some time that low socioeconomic status is connected to poor health, including in children, but a new study led by a San Francisco State University psychologist has shed light on what can be done to protect young people from negative outcomes.

The keys? A more positive parent-child relationship as well as the child’s own ability to manage his or her response to stressful situations, according to research published last month in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

“In pediatricians’ offices or in school nurses’ offices, people often talk about what things in the environment can mitigate negative physical health impacts, and here we find that there are actually aspects of parenting that can be protective,” said Melissa Hagan, a San Francisco State University assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study.

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