Baby pampering makes adults less stressed
The overflowing maternal affection offered to babies a few months old makes them better able to cope with the problems of life when they are adults, according to a study published Tuesday in the "Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health", an American journal.
For this study of 482 people in the US state of Rhode Island, researchers compared data on the relationship of 8-month-old infants with their mothers, and their emotional functioning, measured by tests, at the age of 18 months. 34 years old, in the 90s.
They wanted to test the accepted notion that strong emotional bonds from infancy provide a solid foundation for rebounding life's problems. Studies to date have been based on childhood memories and not on a study conducted in the early years of life, say the researchers.
The quality of babies' interaction with their mothers at the age of 8 months was assessed by a psychologist, who noted the mother's affection and attention reactions when the baby was subjected to developmental tests. , and his reaction to his performance. The ranking - dating back to the 1960s - ranged from "negative" to "excessive" to "warm".
In almost one in ten cases, the psychologist noted a low level of maternal affection for the baby. In 85% of cases, the level of affection was normal, and high in 6% of cases.
The people were tested at the age of 34, on the basis of a list of symptoms indicative of anxiety and hostility and more generally of malaise.
Regardless of social background, it was found that those whose mothers had shown great affection when they were 8 months old had the lowest levels of anxiety, hostility and discomfort. The difference was 7 points for anxiety compared to others, more than 3 points for hostility and 5 points for malaise.
Interestingly enough, there was no difference between low and low level children. This could be explained, according to the researchers, by the absence of really negative interactions in the observed sample.
According to them, this confirms that even the earliest experiences can influence adult life. Biological memories built early can "produce latent vulnerabilities," says the study.
Therefore, researchers believe that to be effective, we need to target much earlier ages in interventions for the well-being of children, in order to "prevent + the impression + of negative experiences".