Researchers have found a connection between the amount of mother and baby interaction and the child's risk of developing emotional problems, behavioral disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivty disorder (ADHD) later in life, says The Herald. The study analyzed hundreds of video recordings showing verbal interaction between mothers and their year-old babies. Researchers linked children with less vocal input from their parents with an increased risk of ADHD and conditions such as depression.
"We used 180 videos for this study of mothers interacting with their 12-month-old infants - of which 120 were controls and 60 were of the children who were later diagnosed with disorders at seven years old," said study co-author Dr Clare Allely, a psychologist at Glasgow University's Institute Of Health And Wellbeing.
When researchers measured the effects of mothers using five less vocalizations such as simple sounds to words with their children, the study found that the children’s risk of being diagnosed with ADHD or an emotional condition by age seven increased by 44 percent.
Researchers said that the study does not suggest that not talking to a child causes psychiatric problems, but shows that more mother-child communication decreases the risk of ADHD and emotional disorders occurring.
Study co-author Philip Wilson, professor of primary care and rural health at the University of Aberdeen, feels that there may also be a genetic component in mothers that increases their children's vulnerability to these disorders. Mothers with ADHD or conduct problems tend to talk less and are under-active later in life.