A new study suggests that there’s a link between fussiness at a very early age and psychological issues as the child gets older.
Is your infant overly fussy? New findings by a researcher in Iowa claim that the way a child acts even at the age of three to four weeks could lead to certain problems such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), anxiety and other behavior problems down the road. Beth Troutman, the study researcher who is also a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa, says, “It turns out, you can predict very well from infant fussiness to later problems.” The question is, though, what makes a baby overly fussy? All babies cry. A lot. So how can a mother tell if her baby is on the road to trouble or just having a bad day?
The researchers seem to understand this dilemma, as Iowa undergrad researcher Allison Momany suggested, “I don’t think it means every baby that cries a lot is going to have problems.”
Troutman, Momany and their team interviewed 111 mothers about their children from the years 1999 to 2002. They would check back in with the moms a few years later to see how the children, now aged between 8 and 11, had progressed. Momany pointed out that how a mother responds to a child has a great deal to do with the child’s mental development. But that’s not exactly surprising, is it? What is interesting, though, is that the researchers didn’t meet with the kids in the study, but instead relied on the mothers’ own opinions of their children in the form of questionaires.
It was decided that since mothers spend the most amount of time with the children, their judgment about the child’s mood and behavioral changes must be better. But how can you tell if a baby is being overly fussy or just being a normal infant? What do you think? Do you see a connection between a newborn being fussy and later behavior issues?