Parental Psychology And Its Effects On Children 's First Years Of Development

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In the first years of a child’s life, love may be as nourishing as food. Psychologists widely agree with parental psychopathology is a crucial risk factor for the development of their child across multiple domains (Sanders 2002). Nonorganic failure to thrive (NOFTT) describes the delayed growth and development of infants due to factors extrinsic the infant. Sometimes referred to as growth faltering or weight faltering, most definitions of NOFTT include a weight less than the 5th percentile on the growth chart or a decreasing rate of weight gain (Powell, 1988). Growth faltering is the most common category of FTT in the United States and can occur even when infants are properly nourished (Powell, 1988). These infants tend to be apathetic and…show more content…
In other words, a low score at 18 months did not reliably predict cognitive impairment later on, but perhaps one study should not discount the validity of this measurement. In another recent meta-analysis, MDI correlated strongly with later cognitive functioning, explaining 37% of the variance with high reliability scores (dos Santos et al., 2013). Furthermore, there may be a critical period for maternal depressive symptoms’ effect on cognitive development as evinced by the lack of significance in combining studies that only examined exposure to maternal depression after 8 weeks. Early post-partum depression may impact a mother’s ability to connect with their child in a way that ultimately promotes later development (Bagner et al., 2010). There are many other ways that maternal depression can contribute to developmental delays in cognition. Social withdrawal and lack of sensitivity, common symptoms of depression can inhibit a mother’s ability to respond infant cues (a.k.a. affective deprivation), provide early learning opportunities, and respond to their child’s needs (Koverola et al., 2005). Depression could reduce the mother’s motivation to play with their child or provide opportunities for them to interact with the environment in ways that support cognitive development (Cooper et al., 2009). If maternal depression does contribute to growth faltering, then
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