Interviewing people with children, 69% of respondents said they often release the stress they bottled up during the day at home in the evening. 61% of respondents said they sometimes lash out at their family members, including children, in stressful situations.
«Study results mostly fit what specialists observe every day. This is why Riga Stradins University’s Continuing Education Faculty and Psychosomatic Clinic together with Latvian Paediatricians Associations and Latvian Countryside Family Physicians Association have commenced a campaign for family stress relief this spring,» study authors explain.
According to study results, every third respondent in Latvia tends to lash out at partners and children in stressful situations. Every tenth respondent admits that children become targets for ‘emotional discharge’. 17% of respondents mentioned their partners as targets for emotional discharge. Women (68%) discharge stress at their partners and children more often than men (49.2%).
«In previous years, we tried educating society about the destructive influence of stress on the health of children and teenagers. Children are an irreplaceable part of the family. If adults behave violently and discharge their negative energy at children, stress becomes directed at them. But if under their parents’ stress children start joking, their parents can become even more violent. This is why this year’s campaign puts an emphasis on family stress,» says president of Latvian Paediatricians Association, Prof. Ilze Grope.
53% of Latvian residents experience stress every now and then. 37% of respondents experience stress very often, causing serious psychological and behavioural changes.
«Looking at study results further, we see that bad stress or distress is experienced the most by women – 41.3% when compared with 27.9% of men. Bad stress is also often experienced by young family members. For example, half of respondents aged 18 to 24 experience stress very often. 41.7% of respondents aged 25 to 34 also often experience stress, as do 34.3% of respondents aged 35 to 44 and 31.4% of respondents aged 45 to 54,» authors of the study say.
Stress experienced by adults is often passed on to children. Parents are asked to share observations if their children experience stress often.
«When parents try resolving their children’s health problems, they often do not suspect that the reason behind those problems sometimes lies in deep psychological worries, too much pressure at school or in the family. While we are used to dealing with ‘burnout’ when discussing consequences of stress in the lives of adults, children and teenagers often experience much more devastating consequences from stress. But before reaching for medicine, it would be best to look at the situation from the family members’ perspective. This may sound simple, but – the more open parents a child has, the more peaceful and healthy that child’s upbringing will be,» the professor says.
To educate society about bad stress in the family, organizers of the campaign plan to perform different educational activities in April and May.