What is it about?
In a new study, we followed 120 mothers and babies over the first five months post-birth. We found that being emotionally perceptive, or able to identify others’ emotional states from their facial expressions, is a key predictor of mothers' sensitive caregiving toward their babies.
Photo by Thiago Cerqueira on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Sensitive and responsive interactions with caregivers are critical for building babies’ brains and forecasting later social skills and even physical health. The findings provide support for programs that build caregivers’ emotional skills, including the ability to recognize others’ joy. Understanding the emotional intelligence skills that support sensitive caregiving can help inform early interventions to foster healthy, secure parent-child relationships.
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This page is a summary of: Maternal recognition of positive emotion predicts sensitive parenting in infancy., Emotion, October 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/emo0001125.
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Study: Emotionally Perceptive Moms Are More Sensitive Parents
A new University of Virginia study has found that a new mother’s ability to recognize positive emotions of the faces of other adults predicts how sensitive and responsive she will be with her baby four months later.
Open Access Preprint
Open access preprint available on ResearchGate
Mothers who recognize others’ happiness are more responsive to their infants in first months of life
Research feature in The Conversation
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