Research Roundup: Baby Stress Eraser, Too-High Toddler Expectations, and Relationships Problems After Miscarriage or Stillbirth
A roundup of recent research on the parenting front. And, included for the first time ever - a short video commentary from me, focusing on one of those studies. (Hey, everyone else is doing it. I figured I might as well give it a whirl.)
Baby Stress Eraser: Sensitive Parenting Can Eliminate the Effects of Prenatal Stress Exposure
A study conducted at the University of Rochester and published in the journal Biological Psychiatry in February suggests that sensitive parenting during the baby and toddler years can eliminate the detrimental effects of stress exposure during pregnancy.
Children who are exposed to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol prior to birth are more likely to experience attention difficulties and cognitive problems later in life. However, the effects of prenatal stress exposure can be eliminated if a secure parent-child attachment is formed during infancy and maintained into the toddler years.
Too-High Toddler Expectations: Emotional Control Occurs Much Later Than Many Parents Believe
Twenty percent of parents expect kids to be able to control their emotions by the time they turn two; and forty-three percent expect the same of their kids by age three, according to a study of 1,615 U.S. parents conducted on behalf of Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, in Washington, DC. In fact, it actually takes most children until they are three to five years of age to exercise that amount of self-control.
Having age-appropriate expectations of your kids makes parenting a whole lot easier. Instead of trying to fix a non-existent problem – your two-year-old isn't behaving like a five-year-old, you can focus on enjoying her at her current age and abilities. You also avoid stressing her out by expecting her to exhibit a degree of self-control she simply isn't capable of right now.
Couples Face Increased Risk of Relationship Breakup Following Miscarriage or Stillbirth
Pregnancy loss increases the risk of relationship breakup; and the risk is greater for unmarried couples than for married couples, according to research conducted at the University of Michigan and published in the April 5th issue of the journal Pediatrics.
The study, which followed couples over a 15-year period following a pregnancy loss, is the first to examine the effects of miscarriage and stillbirth on the couple relationship.
The researchers found that couples who experienced a miscarriage had a 22 percent higher risk of experiencing a breakup as compared to couples who had not been through such a loss; while couples who had experienced a stillbirth had a 40 percent increased risk of experienced a breakup. With a miscarriage, the period of increased risk for a break up lasted for three years following the loss. With a stillbirth, the period of increased risk for a break up lasted for nine years following the loss.
Do you have comments to make about any of these studies? Do any of them reflect what you've experienced or observed in your own life? If so, I'd love to hear your story. Please leave me a comment below.
- Thanks, Ann