Wilson Quoted About Genetics and Mental Health

Headshot of Dr. Sylia Wilson

Can generational maternal trauma be passed down through genetics? That’s one question a south Minneapolis mom tries to answer in a Minneapolis St Paul Magazine article “The Parent Trap.” The study of intergenerational trauma can be traced back to the 1960s when scientists focused on children of Holocaust survivors. The field has continued to grow as scientists are now aware this trauma is related to biology rather than just the transfer of behaviors. 

In the article, Dr. Sylia Wilson reminds us that, although genes are passed from parent to child and can influence predispositions, things are not set in stone. She notes that just because a parent is affected by trauma or mental illness, does not mean that their child will also be affected,  and vice versa, but that other important factors may come into play.

Sylia Wilson, PhD, assistant professor, and McKnight Land-Grant Professor in the Institute of Child Development.


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