You’re Anxious At Work Because Your Dad Was Stressed In High School

And here I just thought he gave me my sense of humor. According to a new study from Tufts University, the stress a man experiences when he is young can contribute to genetic changes in his sperm that can result in psychiatric disorders in female offspring. And it gets better, this can be passed on to your daughter as well.

The researchers subjected young male mice to a range of stresses by constantly changing the composition of their cages. They found that the stresses led the mice, particularly females, to become rather more anxious and socially disfunctional than their peers who had not been subjected to stressful treatment. The researchers then studied the offspring of these previously-stressed mice and observed that female, but not male, offspring exhibited elevated anxiety and poor social interactions. But what do you know, the male mice did not express any of these altered behaviors, they only passed on these behaviors to their female offspring after being mated to non-stressed females.

Study author Lorena Saavedra-Rodriguez said: ‘The long term effects of stress can be pernicious.” The researchers are looking to see if a similar phenomena can occur in humans. But mice and humans are pretty much the same so it is probably a done deal. And to think, we’ve been blaming our moms for all our anxious habits all these years. 

 

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