A project of the Child Trends News Service supported by the National Science Foundation

Mom’s BFFs Benefit Baby

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — A survey done by Cornell University researchers found that the average person has two close friends. Now, a new study shows that moms of babies may have a good reason to increase that number.

For moms, strong friendships can offer support and connection. Now a new study shows women who have a large social support network may have babies who benefit, too! Scientists followed 1,082 moms and their babies. They found at age two, children of moms with larger social circles had higher scores on cognitive development tests, which measure language along with motor, socio-emotional, and adaptive behaviors.

The researchers say moms with more friends might expose their babies to socialization early on, which could be why the kids performed better. Or the strong social networks offered support which made the mothers less stressed and improved their parenting skills. Either way, this study suggests moms with babies should welcome social relationships outside of their immediate family. It could help you and your little one.

Interestingly, this study also found babies who were a part of larger families, specifically families with six or more members, had lower cognitive development scores at age two.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Dave Harrison, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Research: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2720588

 

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