-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Having a secure attachment
with their mother helps irritable babies respond well to unfamiliar
people and situations, a new study finds.
It included 84 infants who were followed from birth to age 2.
Irritability was assessed within a month of birth and was based on
the infants' reactions to a series of tests, including being
undressed and hearing a bell ringing. About one third of the
infants were rated highly irritable and two-thirds as moderately
The infants' attachment to their mothers was assessed at 12
months and was based on their behavior with their mothers. Securely
attached infants turned toward their mother when distressed, while
insecurely attached infants did not.
At ages 18 to 24 months, the children's reactions to unfamiliar
adults and toys were assessed by the University of Maryland
Toddlers who were highly irritable newborns were the most
sociable if they had a secure attachment to their mother, but the
least sociable if they were insecurely attached. The study also
found that toddlers who were highly irritable newborns and had
insecure attachment were least able to explore when they were
The quality of attachment did not affect either the sociability
or exploration of toddlers who were moderately irritable as
The study appears in the journal
The findings suggest that measures to promote attachment between
child and mother may be especially important for highly irritable
newborns, researchers said.
Zero to Three outlines infants'
behavior and development.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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