Most of us don’t remember our first two or three years of life — but our earliest experiences may stick with us for years and continue to influence us well into adulthood.
Just how they influence us and how much is a question that researchers are still trying to answer. Two studies look at how parents’ behavior in those first years affects life decades later, and how differences in children’s temperament play a role.
The first study, published Thursday in Child Development, found that the type of emotional support that a child receives during the first three and a half years has an effect on education, social life and romantic relationships even 20 or 30 years later.
Babies and toddlers raised in supportive and caring home environments tended to do better on standardized tests later on, and they were more likely to attain higher degrees as adults. They were also more likely to get along with their peers and feel satisfied in their romantic relationships.
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