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UK: Emotional struggles predict temper tantrums in two-year-olds

04 October 2019

Mothers who suffered from stress and anxiety in the antenatal period are more likely to see their child display behavioural problems such as temper tantrums, restlessness and spitefulness, according to a study.

The paper, published in Development and Psychopathology, says that the wellbeing of mothers and fathers before and after birth has a direct impact on the behaviour of their children.

Researchers drew on the experiences of 438 first-time expectant mothers and fathers, who were followed up at four, 14 and 24 months after birth.

Parents with early postnatal relationship problems – ranging from a general lack of happiness to rows and conflict – had two-year-olds who were more likely to exhibit emotional problems, including scaring easily, being clingy in new situations, and being worried, unhappy and tearful.

Image credit | iStock

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