The way mothers interact with their babies in the first year of life is strongly related to how children behave later on.
According to Benjamin Lahey and his team from the University of Chicago in the US, both a mother’s parenting style and an infant’s temperament reliably predict challenging behavior in later childhood.
The researchers looked at whether an infant’s temperament and his mother’s parenting skills during the first year of life might predict behavioral problems, in just over 1,800 children aged 4-13 years.
Measures of infant temperament included activity levels, how fearful, predictable and fussy the babies were, as well as whether they had a generally happy disposition.
The researchers looked at how much mothers stimulated their baby intellectually, how responsive they were to the child’s demands, and the use of spanking or physical restraint.
Child conduct problems in later childhood included cheating, telling lies, trouble getting on with teachers, being disobedient at home and/or at school, bullying and showing no remorse after misbehaving.
More information at News Medical