Pre-K Behavior Problems Might Have Genetic Link, Study Reveals

If you have a Pre-K child in your home with a behavioral problem, it could be the result of a genetic link. Parents like to blame their child’s problems on surrounding settings and new experiences, however, a new study suggests that predisposed problems should take part of the blame.

The new study was published this week in the International Journal of Behavioral Development. The study shows a strong correlation between genetically-inherited traits such as poor self-control. Researchers believe that such a lack of control can cause pre-kindergarten children to act out out of frustration and even boredom.

The researchers believe that very young children with behavioral problems may benefit from being placed in different settings until they adjust.

The study examined Genetic data from 233 adopted children. That material was taken from both the children and their biological parents. Researchers found that parents who reported having poor self-control and higher rates of negative emotions also had children likely to misbehave in child care or preschool. Researchers found those children to lack self-control and in turn suffer from anger issues. Despite the disposition of the children’s adoptive parents researchers still found a “modest” level of behavioral problems.

Shannon Lipscomb, lead author of the study and a family sciences professor at Oregon State University, says of the groups findings:

“We aren’t recommending that children are genetically tested, but parents and caregivers can assess a child’s needs and help them get to a setting that might be more appropriate. This study helps us to explain why some children struggle so much with large peer groups and heightened social interactions. It may not be a problem with a teacher or parent, but that they are struggling on a biological level.”

Experts tend to agree that early intervention and professional help during the early stages of behavioral problems can go a long way in fending off those problems, eve when genetics are involved.

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