Psychotherapy Services in South West London

How parents influence children’s cognitive abilities

Dandelion children are those that will thrive regardless of their environment, whereas orchid children are more dependent on how they are cared for. The conventional nature-nurture perspective held that susceptibility + bad environment does lead to a doubly bad outcome, and susceptibility + good environment actually leads to doubly good outcome. In other words in a nurtured environment these children seem to do far better than those who are not susceptible. The genetic basis of this appears to centre around variants of the DRD4 gene. IJzendoorn and others have demonstrated that where there are unresolved parental issues or maternal insensitivity a child with the DRD4 gene will be particularly likely to show disorganised patterns of attachment. However a child with the same genetic make up in a stable home environment will show particularly healthy patterns of attachment.

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