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Mother’s phonecall as good as a hug

Children are soothed by voice over the phone


 

Working moms who can’t be home to help an upset child can take comfort in the fact that her voice over the phone is just as soothing as a hug, according to a new study from U.S. researchers reported in the BBC. In a study of more than 60 girls in a stressful situation, hormonal responses were monitored when they were either phoned or hugged afterwards. Their mother’s voice produced virtually the same amount of oxytocin, a stress-reducing hormone, as physical comfort, they found. Aged seven to 12, the girls were asked to make an on-the-spot speech and then solve math problems in front of a panel of strangers, which sent their stress hormone levels soaring. In one group, their mother was there to offer physical comfort immediately; in the other, the mother was waiting on the phone. A third group watched an emotionally-neutral film. Oxytocin rose in both groups to similar levels, but not in the film group.

BBC News


 
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