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BY The Editors

August 1-14, 2010 Issue | Posted 7/23/10 at 12:52 PM


When kids are away from home and stressed out, calling mom is a good thing, according to a recent study, as reported by

The study found that talking on the phone with their moms reduced a stress hormone in young girls and released oxytocin, a brain chemical that helps form bonds.

“The idea was that picking up the phone and calling someone would be like giving them a hug,” says one of the study’s authors, Seth Pollak, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lane Strathearn, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, who did not assist with the study, found the findings “very powerful.”

According to Strathearn, the findings are relevant for older children and adults: “From early infancy, this relationship may help to strengthen and promote the development of the oxytocin system, which may have effects into later childhood, adolescence and even adulthood on how we respond to stress.”