The effect of major stress in childhood, caused by severe neglect or maltreatment such as persistent child abuse or sexual abuse, affects the brain of the adult victim; the resulting psychopathologies have been well-documented. That type of major stress has a UK prevalence rate of 16%. A much more common problem for a developing infant is family discord (prevalence rate of 41%). The effect on the brain of family-focused discord during infancy (studied later at adolescence) is the subject of this paper. Discord can be defined as significant arguments and tension between parents.
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