One new study suggests that infants who spend at least one overnight apart from their mothers develop weaker attachments to their mothers than do infants who only spend time with their father in the daytime, or infants who spend fewer nights away from their homes. This study was conducted by University of Virginia researchers, who examined a study of 5,000 infants born between 1998 and 2000, and interviews with the child's parents at three different times: at their kid's birth, when their baby was one year old, and then when the child was three.
One of the researchers said that the strength of an infant's relationships will affect their relationships even as adults. This is becoming of increasing concern as divorced, separated, or unmarried parents often share child custody. And this further means that a judge, who is often unaware of the infant's best interests when it comes to psychological health, will be left to create the
These researchers suggest that it is in the child's best interests to spend every night with the same parent, father or mother, when they are still quite young. One researcher said, "We would want a child to be attached to both parents, but in the case of separation a child should have at least one good secure attachment." That measure of stability can be crucial for the child's psychological health. One of the research advisers said it would be ideal to have a custody arrangement that progresses as the child ages, that overnights be limited in infancy, while truly joint custody would not begin until the child reaches preschool.
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