Recent research from the CAT Lab published in Emotion examined how infants pay attention to social cues, especially emotion faces. The findings indicate that infants spend more time looking at angry faces compared to other faces. Moreover, we found that this was particularly the case for infants whose mothers reported higher levels of anxiety. Because age and temperament did not relate to looking time, we think that maternal anxiety, in particular, may impact children’s processing of threat-related information from very early in development. Maternal anxiety therefore may serve as an early marker to predict socioemotional development.
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