Infants Lack Strong Parental Attachments
In a report published by Sutton Trust, researchers from Princeton University, Columbia University, and the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Bristol found that infants under the age of three who do not form strong bonds with their mothers or fathers are more likely to be aggressive, defiant and hyperactive as adults. These bonds, or secure attachments, are formed through early parental care, such as picking up a child when he or she cries or holding and reassuring a child. According to the study of nearly 14,000 children, 40% of these children lack the “strong emotional bonds” that are crucial to success later in life. Who is to blame here?
The analysis, written by Sophie Moullin and others, says that actions such as holding a baby lovingly and responding to a baby’s needs support children’s social and emotional development. This, in turn, strengthens a child’s cognitive development. Researchers say that further developed children are more likely to be “resilient to poverty, family instability, parental stress and depression”. So, the 40% of those studied who lack secure attachments are more likely to have poorer language and behavior before entering school, which is just one example, according to researchers. An interesting statistic from the study stated that of the 40% who lack secure attachments, 25% avoid their parents when they are upset and 15% resist their parents. Both are attributed to the distress caused by the children’s parents.
Susan Campbell, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, says in the article “…When caregivers are overwhelmed because of their own difficulties, infants are more likely to learn that the world is not a safe place- leading them to become needy, frustrated, withdrawn, or disorganized”. The point the researchers seem to be making with this study is that many parents need more support to provide proper parenting, including family leave, home visits and income supports. So, what do you think? Can poor behavior be “linked” directly to the parents? Rather, is it entirely their fault for not nurturing their children from a young age, or is this idea preposterous?
-Posted by: Taylor Schille (3)