Saturday, December 28, 2002

CHIMPANZEE PARENTING

Protective parenting
By Laura Sessions Stepp

Parental anxiety weighs on children

...Neurologist Richard Restak, author of the book accompanying the PBS series "The Secret Life of the Brain," says children raised by anxious adults become anxious themselves. Psychologist Frans deWaal, who works at Emory University's Yerkes Primate Center in Atlanta, has observed this in chimpanzees.

When juvenile chimps play together and start quarreling, some of the youngsters inevitably squeal, he says. Some mothers, sitting several yards away, simply watch, but others go over right away to comfort their particular chimp.

The babies whose mothers get involved become crybabies, deWaal says, and over time the other young chimps won't play with them....