Emotional bonding with parents key to success

Last Updated 28 March 2014, 13:12 IST

If you want your baby to be successful later in life, pick him/her up with care every time he/she cries in distress and respond to their needs, a study suggested.

Children under three-year age who do not form strong bonds with their parents 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, the research added.

"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infants are more likely to learn that the world is not a safe place, leading them to become needy, frustrated, withdrawn or disorganised," said Susan Campbell, a professor of psychology at University of Pittsburgh, the US.

Those who lack secure attachments are more likely to have poorer language and behaviour before entering school, the study found.

This effect continues throughout the children's lives, and such children are more likely to leave school without further education, employment or training, the researchers said.

The researchers used data collected for the study by the 'Early Childhood Longitudinal Study', a nationally representative US study of 14,000 children born in 2001 and reviewed more than 100 academic studies.

The researchers found that 40 percent US children lacked strong emotional bonds or secure attachment with their parents.

Strong emotional bonds with parents support children's social and emotional development, which in turn, strengthens their cognitive development, the researchers said.

The study was published by Sutton Trust, a London-based institute.

(Published 28 March 2014, 13:12 IST)

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