Mom's favoritism can have long-term impact

June 24, 2010 at 5:55 PM

ITHACA, N.Y., June 24 (UPI) -- A mother showing favoritism to one child can have lasting effects -- in middle age, her children can show depressive symptoms, U.S. researchers say.

Karl Pillemer of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and Jill Suitor of Purdue University and colleagues analyzed data of interviews of 275 mothers in their 60s and 70s with at least two living adult children. They also surveyed 671 of the women's offspring.

"Perceived favoritism from one's mother still matters to a child's psychological well-being, even if they have been living for years outside the parental home and have started families of their own," Pillemer said in a statement.

"It doesn't matter whether you are the chosen child or not, the perception of unequal treatment has damaging effects for all siblings."

The findings were published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Russia says missiles aimed at Syria did not land in Iran
Tunisian democracy advocates win Nobel Peace Prize
Captive orca breeding banned at California's SeaWorld
Wrong drug used in Oklahoma execution
Pentagon to ditch $500M Syrian rebel training program