Life

Mothers and daughters have a stronger bond than any other relationship, says study

The mother-daughter relationship is a complex one.

If you’ve ever wondered why you’re so similar to your mum – right down to your moods – new research shows mothers and daughters couldn’t be more alike.


The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, looked at why depression and other mood disorders was passed between mothers and daughters and found the two shared a structure of the brain that regulates emotions.

Scientists performed MRI scans on all members of 35 healthy families and discovered the association between mother-daughter was greater than those between mother-son, father-daughter and father-son.

What this means is that women are more likely to understand and be able to relate to their mother’s emotions, as mothers are able to relate to theirs.


“Our study’s uniqueness is that we’re the first one to get the whole family and scan both parents and offspring to look at how similar their brain networks are,” lead author Fumiko Hoeft from University of California told Scientific American,

“We joke about inheriting stubbornness or organisation – but we’ve never actually seen that in human brain networks before. This research was a proof of impact.”

While Hoeft notes both nature and nurture are at play in determining a child’s emotional and psychological makeup, the research highlights how biology does play a big part.

“What’s relevant is that it shows the profound influence of prenatal impact on offspring, which we often forget,” he said.

The mother-daughter link runs deep, whether you like it or not!


Words: Emily Mazza
Photo: Getty Images

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