Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plentiful maternal affection in early infancy boosts adult coping skills, study finds

Date:
July 27, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Moms who shower their infants with affection equip them to cope well with life stressors as adults, new research finds.

Mums who shower their infants with affection equip them to cope well with life stressors as adults, indicates research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Related Articles


Despite growing interest in the role of early life experiences in adult health, most studies have relied on recall; few have tracked participants from childhood to adult life, say the authors.

They base their findings on 482 people, who were part of the US Providence Rhode Island birth cohort of the National Collaborative Perinatal Project.

The quality of their interactions with their mothers at the age of 8 months was objectively rated by a psychologist during routine developmental assessment.

At the end of each session, the psychologist completed an assessment of how well the mother had coped with her child's developmental tests and how she had responded to the child's performance.

The amount of affection and attention she gave to her child was also categorised, with descriptors ranging from "negative" to "extravagant."

Mental health was subsequently assessed in adulthood at the average age of 34, using a validated symptom checklist, which captures both specific elements -- such as anxiety and hostility -- and general levels of distress.

At the 8 month assessment, one in 10 interactions (46) were characterised by a low level of maternal affection towards the infant. Most (85%; 409) were characterised by normal levels of affection.

The remaining 6% (27) were characterised by very high levels of maternal affection.

When the specific elements of the checklist were analysed, those whose mothers had been observed to be the most affectionate at the 8 month assessment had the lowest levels of anxiety, hostility, and general distress.

There was more than a 7 point difference in anxiety scores between those whose mothers had displayed low/normal levels of affection and those whose mothers had displayed high levels.

And there was more than a 3 point discrepancy in hostility scores and a 5 point difference in overall general distress scores.

This pattern was seen across all the various elements of the symptom checklist: the higher the mother's warmth, the lower the adult's distress.

The authors conclude that their findings back up the assertion that even very early life experiences can influence adult health.

High levels of maternal affection are likely to facilitate secure attachments and bonding, say the authors. This not only lowers distress, but may also enable a child to develop effective life, social, and coping skills, which will stand them in good stead as adults.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Plentiful maternal affection in early infancy boosts adult coping skills, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726201000.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, July 27). Plentiful maternal affection in early infancy boosts adult coping skills, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726201000.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Plentiful maternal affection in early infancy boosts adult coping skills, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726201000.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins