Why does a baby strike out in anger? Does something happen in the womb or is it learned from Mom and Dad?
The answers are being sought by an extensive study by Cardiff University psychologists. Participating parents undergo thorough psychological testing both before and after baby is born. So far there are two significant findings:
- Infants who often tug on other babies’ toys tend to have mothers who were depressed during pregnancy.
- Those who use their bodies against others had moms with troubled youths. These angry babies show a tendency to flail out in anger, and not just in a stressful situation. There were no gender differences.
With this diagnosis, families can be given support in learning to deal with anger and frustration and how to nurture an infant whose moods may be volatile.