A new study shows that infants as young as six months remember emotionally stressful situations and are able to anticipate that negativity when exposed to the same context again. The study measured stress hormones while parents were briefly ignoring their child, then created the same environment 24 hours later. The second time, parents remained attentive, but the stress hormones spiked until the child was reassured the situation wasn’t repeating itself. These findings may help explain why people who experienced isolation or neglect, even only as infants who couldn’t remember specific situations, still need the help of a therapist or counselor to address social and emotional stress and anxiety as adults.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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