Study Pinpoints One Big Factor In A Child’s Early Life That Can Have A Lasting Impact

With all the child development research out there, figuring out which methods to follow can be crippling. Should you embody helicopter parenting? Ban TV? Enforce regular bedtimes?

But a new study suggests that parents may want to focus on one major influencer: sensitivity during a child’s first few years. Researchers argue that a kid’s social and academic abilities can be stifled all the way into adulthood if they don’t receive sensitive caregiving.

According to the researchers, sensitive caregiving is “the extent to which a parent responds to a child’s signals appropriately and promptly, is positively involved during interactions with the child and provides a secure base for the child’s exploration of the environment.” In other words, it’s interacting with a child in a gentle, attentive way that shows the caregiver understands the child’s needs.

Published this week in the Child Development journal, the study used data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation to track how maternal sensitivity during the first three years of life affected people as adults. Mothers of participants were living below the poverty line when they were recruited during their third trimesters. After —> Read More Here


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