Friday, May 14, 2010

Stressed? Talk to mom or get a hug

SHOOT: And if all else fails, try chocolate. But when that sugar buzz wears off, have a straitjacket handy.
mom phone voice stress hormone girlA hug from Mom can help soothe a stressed child, but new research shows that just hearing her voice can initiate the same biochemical responses—even if the mother is speaking over the phone.

The hormone oxytocin promotes bonding between mother and child and has long been associated with close physical contact (often through early-infant skin-to-skin interaction such as breastfeeding and soothing).

"It was understood that oxytocin release in the context of social bonding usually required physical contact," Leslie Seltzer, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Child Emotion Lab and lead author on the study, said in a prepared statement. "But it's clear from these results that a mother's voice can have the same effect as a hug, even if they're not standing there."
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