Serve and Return, Addiction, Stress, ACEs, Brain Architecture, Brain Plasticity
Dr. Linda Mayes (Yale Child Study Center) explores how the neural circuits in adult brains change with parenthood to facilitate childcare. She discusses research which shows how early adversity in a parent’s own childhood, like parental addiction and chronic stress, do not allow important changes in new parents’ brains to take place. As a result, parents who experienced childhood adversity have an impaired ability to understand their babies’ needs and deal with infant-related stresses. Dr. Mayes sees a need for adult intervention programs that increase parental mindfulness and build social networks to reduce parental stress and encourage more empathetic parenting.