We recently talked about financially changing your family tree as financial motivation, but for those of us needed some more convincing here is evidence that our decisions about money go much deeper than just dollars and cents. Our choices are crucially importance to our children and this offers early stage evidence that our choices can cover over ‘bad’ genetics.
The researchers “studied 109 children who had been removed from their parents’ care due to reports of abuse or neglect and 87 control children with no reports of abuse or maltreatment.” The children also had two gene polymorphisms that put them at a greater risk for depression. The researchers also assessed each child’s support system and assigned each one a score for their support system quality .
I picked up three import things from the recap of the study. First, the effects of the depression amplifiers only held true for the children who were abused and neglected. Second, children with strong support systems almost completely escaped the effects of the ‘bad’ genes. Third, genes alone weren’t likely to make a child depressed, but maltreatment alone can.
Picture the ‘bad’ genes as little seeds. Give the seeds water polluted with mistreatment and lack of support and the ‘bad’ genes flourish. Nurture them with a safe supportive water and the children could likely overcome the ‘bad’ genes. At least in this small study the age old question of nature versus nurture is answered. Nurture wins .
To me, this is truly amazing! Think about the implications. Does it change how important we view sacrificing the BMW and huge backyard, so that we can have a stay at home spouse. Do you have to work 60 hours a week to support your current lifestyle? Is your debt stressing your relationship with your spouse and your children? Maybe we are sacrificing too much? Maybe we should be giving more time and money to support those willing to adopt and provide supportive homes for maltreated children? Hopefully studies like this help to illuminate which decisions are the truly important ones in life. What do you think?