Parental stress can have a harmful affect on babies' development, resulting in problems with social and motor skills, according to a new study.
The study, from Trinity College, Dublin, finds that parents who are stressed out are less sensitive to their children, meaning they're less likely to respond to them in times of need. The result is that it could hamper children's development.
For the study, researchers interviewed the parents of more than 11,000 nine-month-old babies, following up with two more interviews before the kids turned five. They found that for parents, being tuned into a child's needs is important for development, but that stress—no matter the cause—impacts "the ability to read these signals."
The report also broke down how the causes of stress can be different between mothers and fathers.
Mothers tended to become stressed about money, but not fathers. Women also became stressed about a lack of support from family and friends.
Fathers stressed about the relationship with their partners, which impacted on parenting.
Translation: mothers are stressed because they feel like they're aren't getting the help they need, whereas fathers are stressed because they feel like they aren't getting the blow jobs they need.
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Babies feel parents' stress [Independent]