According to a new study, infants whose fathers are more involved with them at 3 months old tend to display less behavioral troubles at age one.
The researchers at the University of Oxford examined 192 families gathered from two maternity units in the United Kingdom to observe whether or not there is a relationship between father-baby interactions in the early years of the infant’s life and the child’s behavior later on.
“We found that children whose fathers were more engaged in the interactions had better outcomes, with fewer subsequent behavioral problems,” said Dr. Paul Ramchandani, who led the study. The effect was observed to be stronger for males than for females, suggesting that boys could possibly be more vulnerable to the impact of their fathers from an early age.
“Focusing on the infant’s first few months is important as this is a crucial period for development and the infant is very susceptible to environmental influences, such as the quality of parental care and interaction,” Ramchandani claimed.
Parents and guardians worldwide can attest to the fact that child rearing is one of the most challenging yet rewarding responsibilities a person can have. This research gives additional evidence to the growing belief that active engagement early in a child’s life can aid parents in making an early positive impact on the infant’s development.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- Depressed Mothers Often Disturb Baby’s Sleep, Sleep Study Shows (prweb.com)
- Association Between Infants’ Regulatory Behaviors And Maternal Mental Health May Predict Unexplained Physical Symptoms In Older Children (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Infant Fussiness Not Tied to Later Mental Health (nlm.nih.gov)
- Study: Standing Babies Stay Steady When Focused (medicalnewstoday.com)