Some mothers get meaner in bad economic times: US study
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Mothers with a certain gene got meaner when the economy took a dive in 2007-2009, whether or not their own purses were shorter on cash, US researchers said on Monday.
The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that environment can have a major impact on behaviour, particularly when genetic variations are taken into account.
The effect of hard times on harsh parenting was "modest but highly significant," researcher Dohoon Lee of New York University told AFP.
For each 10 per cent increase in the unemployment rate, women with the sensitivity gene reported 2.3 more harsh parenting behaviours, while mothers as a whole reported 1.6 more, he said.