Research Gap Worksheet

Gap Identification

Many studies have proved that there is significant correlation between perinatal exposure of a fetus to a psychologically disturbed environment and the development of mental problems in later stages in the child’s life. One such study concluded that an interaction of genetic processes, parental psychiatric disorders, biological processes during pregnancy, social economic status of parents and parenting behavior play a role in influencing the psychological and social outcomes that children and adolescents exhibit. From a shallow perspective, it appears unreasonable to imagine that biological processes during pregnancy like parental genetic interaction affect the mental development and psychology of children. Scientific evidence shows that mental disorders are caused by neurotransmitter disturbances in the body attributed by genetic predisposition, organic damage to the brain, infectious agents like amoeba, drug use and long term psychological problems. Even though research shows that genetics play a critical role in development of mental illness in children born of mentally ill parents, genetic causation of mental illness is not only  perinatal. Instead, it is a long term biological process that is determined by genetic combination in a zygote formed by genetic mixing from both parents. There is likelihood that a child born of mentally ill parents grown to be mentally healthy. At the same time, it is possible for mentally healthy parents to give birth to a mentally ill child. Because there is empirical evidence showing the relationship between the two variables, this area of social psychology is apparently underdeveloped. There needs to be developed clear mechanism that clearly correlates the two variables.

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Research Question

How do genetics determine the mental and psychological outcome of children?