Mom’s love in infancy helps cope with adult stress

July 27th, 2010 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 27 (IANS) Mums who shower their infants with lots of affection equip them to cope well with life’s stresses and strains as adults.
The results of a study showed that children of such mothers had the lowest levels of anxiety, hostility and general distress.

High levels of maternal affection are likely to facilitate secure attachments and bonding, say the authors.

Researchers based their findings on 482 people, who were part of the US Providence Rhode Island birth study of the National Collaborative Perinatal Project.

The quality of their interactions with their mothers at the age of eight months was objectively rated by a psychologist during routine developmental assessment, according to a statement of the National Collaborative Perinatal Project.

At the end of each session, how well the mother had coped with her child’s developmental tests was assessed and how she had responded to the child’s performance, says an online report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Mental health was subsequently assessed in adulthood for eight months, at the average age of 34 years.

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

The remaining six percent (27) were characterised by very high levels of maternal affection. They were found to cope well with life’s tribulations.

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