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Good news for you moms who just can't stop kissing your kids. There's evidence that physical affection can work wonders for babies -- and even gives them positive effects throughout their life, says a new study. Researchers at Duke University found that infants who received a healthy dose of affection from mom were better able to roll with the punches of life as adults.
Several decades ago, a group of 482 eight-month-old babies and their moms were evaluated by psychologists. During routine developmental assessments of the babies, psychologists also rated how well the mother coped with her child’s developmental tests and how she responded to the child’s performance. The psychologists rated the amount of affection and attention she gave to her child with rankings dubbed “negative,” “normal,” and “extravagant.” Fast forward to today: The study's authors followed up with the children, who were now on average about 34 years old, and assessed their mental health, levels of anxiety and hostility, and general levels of distress.
The authors found that adults who had the lowest levels of distress, anxiety, and hostility had mothers who were the most affectionate at the eight-month assessment. The authors speculated that lots of affection from mom helps facilitate secure attachments and bonding, which lowers distress and may help children develop good coping skills. So the warmer the mom, the less anxious the adult. New moms: Keep those kisses coming!
Do you think a mom can be overly affectionate? Chime in below!