Mothers who have problems at work make their children feel stress, researchers said.
The researchers took saliva samples from 56 children aged 3-4, in the morning and evening. They also questioned their mothers about their work conditions and home life over six months.
A study found higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in those children whose mothers found their jobs less rewarding or left them feeling emotionally exhausted, compared to women who reported more enjoyment from their work.
Levels of cortisol in the evening were more than doubled in children whose mothers reported low job satisfaction.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone which regulates blood pressure, cardiovascular function and immune function, as well as controlling the body's use of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Secretion of the hormone increases in response to stress, whether physical or psychological. Without this response the body would not be able to function, but when levels remain high or are disrupted for a long period of time it can have an effect on health.
But the researchers said that spending longer in child care could help overcome the stress experienced by children whose mothers had low job satisfaction. I.L.
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