Research can help us understand why traditional practices are so important. Knowing why, we are less quick to cast adrift customs that can deeply enrich our lives. Nearly every new parent hears the admonition, “Don’t spoil the baby!” at one time or another in the early months of parenting. Our concern about raising “spoiled” […]

Study Indicates Cell-Phone Distracted Parenting Can Have Longterm Consequences

There are few things that require more hands-on attention than a young child, and there’s little that’s more distracting than the constant bleeping of our phones. When these two things compete for our attention, the results can be sobering. In a new animal-based study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, scientists show that distracted parental […]

Study Helps Researchers Predict if Babies Will be Psychopaths

For the first time, psychiatrists have discovered that it is possible to predict at just five weeks old whether babies will develop “callous-unemotional” traits by checking if they prefer to look at a human face or a red ball. Children with callous-unemotional (CU) traits are defined as showing impaired emotion recognition, reduced responsiveness to others’ […]

What Poverty Does to the Young Brain

The brain’s foundation, frame, and walls are built in the womb. As an embryo grows into a fetus, some of its dividing cells turn into neurons, arranging themselves into layers and forming the first synapses, the organ’s electrical wiring. Four or five months into gestation, the brain’s outermost layer, the cerebral cortex, begins to develop […]

Premature Babies More Likely to Have Emotional Problems as Adults

Infants born at very low weight or more than five weeks early are more likely to become introverted. According to a new study, published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, children who were born very prematurely or were very underweight at birth are at risk of growing up to become introverted, neurotic and […]

A Newborn’s Gaze Predicts Future Childhood Behavior

According to a new study, the way a newborn gazes may have something to do with how his or her behavior will turn out later on. Researchers from Birbeck, University of London said that a newborn’s gaze will predict if the baby will grow up into a hyperactive child. To investigate the theory, the researchers […]

Two Studies Identify Routes to Better Outcomes for Infants Born Prematurely

Two new longitudinal studies that appear in the journal Child Development offer insights on how to decrease the problems associated with premature birth. In the first study, researchers in Israel found that early positive caregiving can reduce risks associated with preterm birth. In the second study, researchers in Norway identified an intervention associated with better […]

Stressed Mothers May Have ‘Moody’ Babies

If women are overly stressed or anxious during pregnancy, their babies stand a higher risk of developing emotional issues such as depression, or cognitive problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Singapore scientists who studied 189 infants and their mothers found that the sadder or more anxious the women were during pregnancy, the thinner […]

Infant Temperaments May Reflect Parents’ Cultural Values

A new study examining temperamental differences between U.S. and Dutch babies found infants born in the Netherlands are more likely to be happy and easier to soothe in the latter half of their first year. U.S. infants, on the other hand, were typically more active and vocal, said study co-author Maria Gartstein, a Washington State […]