Ability to love rooted in our infancyDecember 15th, 2011 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Dec 15 (IANS) The ability to trust, love, and resolve conflicts with loved ones is rooted in our very infancy, says a new US study.
“Your interpersonal experiences with your mother during the first 12 to 18 months of life predict your behavior in romantic relationships 20 years later,” says Jeffry A. Simpson from the University of Minnesota, who co-authored the study with colleagues W. Andrew Collins and Jessica E. Salvatore.
“Before you can remember, before you have language to describe it, and in ways you aren’t aware of, implicit attitudes get encoded into the mind,” Simpson says.
The mistreated infant becomes the defensive arguer; the baby whose mom was attentive and supportive works through problems, secure in the goodwill of the other person.
“People find a coherent, adaptive way, as best as they can, to respond to their current environments based on what’s happened to them in the past,” explains Simpson.
What happens to you as a baby affects the adult you become. To prove this, Simpson, Collins and Salvatore investigated the links between mother-infant relationships and later love partnerships.
Their subjects are 75 children of low-income mothers whom they’ve been assessing from birth into their early 30s, including their close friends and romantic partners.
When the children were infants, they were put into strange or stressful situations with their mothers to test how securely the pairs were bonded. Since then, the children - who are now adults - have returned regularly for assessments of their emotional and social development.
The authors have focused on their skills and resilience in working through conflicts with school peers, teenage best friends, and finally, love partners.
Through multiple analyses, the research has yielded evidence of that early encoding, confirming earlier psychological theories.
- A romantic partner who recovers well from conflict is good for you! - Feb 12, 2011
- If a lovers' tiff leaves you fuming, blame your parents - Feb 22, 2011
- Recovering from conflict crucial for fulfilling relationship - Feb 13, 2011
- Infantood influences how couples bounce back after row - Feb 20, 2011
- How couples recover after argument depends on their infant relationships - Feb 19, 2011
- Depressed mums less responsive to babies' cries: Study - Feb 23, 2011
- Depression in mums ups stress hormones in babies - Dec 10, 2010
- Education programs can increase parent-child interactions - Jan 04, 2011
- Depressed moms respond sluggishly to bawling babies - Feb 23, 2011
- Babies born to obese mums at risk for iron deficiency - May 01, 2011
- Maternal obesity could affect child's brain growth - May 01, 2011
- Respect makes love last: Kate Hudson - May 04, 2011
- Toxins from formula food found in babies - Oct 06, 2011
- Night-time sleep improves infants' skills - Nov 16, 2010
- How to control emotional outbursts in front of your partner - Mar 03, 2010
Tags: best friends, close friends, conflicts, emotional and social development, goodwill, implicit attitudes, infancy, interpersonal experiences, jeffry a simpson, mother infant, pairs, psychological theories, resilience, romantic partners, romantic relationships, salvatore, school peers, stressful situations, university of minnesota, w andrew collins