A new 5-minute test may predict dads' parenting skills before a baby's birth - Times of India

There’s a saying which goes like- anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad and the statement somewhat holds true. Whether you are expecting your first child or welcoming another one to the bunch, there are always doubts over nurturing the parental bond. For some, it kicks in naturally and sometimes, it can take longer. While this is common, it can dwell concerns for any first-time dad. However, a new test developed by a scientist can now predict how good your parenting skills are, dads! A
nd all it takes is 5 minutes!

The study
A new test devised f
inds out that
if a five-minute test
is done with men in the months before a baby is born
, it could help assess their parenting skills and
also throw light on the quality of their relationship in the future.

A study was done involving 182 would-be parents. For the same, the participants were individually assigned a doll in the last trimester to observe and see how the men interacted and behaved with their model baby and were rated on a number of parameters. To closely resemble a human baby, the doll was assembled out of sacks of rice weighing roughly 3 kilos and wor
e baby clothes.

Participants in the study were assessed on the levels of “intuitive” parenting skills in hopes of seeing their potential to practice positive parenting in the future.

One of the lead authors involved in the study, Lauren Altenburg, Professor of Human Development from Pennsylvania State University-Shenango found out that few essential parenting attributes could be examined right before a baby was born when it came to fathers.
Some of the factors which were being studies observed whether the parents took time to talk directly to the doll, indulged in baby talk or showed emotions and concerns regarding their well-being.

The study follows up research done by Oxford University’s Department of Experimental Psychology which found out that new dads could take a longer time forging a connection with their children and could end up falling in “traditional structures” where fathers did not play an active role in bringing up the child and expose them to the risk of developing postnatal depression (PPD), which affects 1 in 10 days.

The study also found out that some of the skills could be adopted by fathers-to-be and help them be an equal parent, just like their partners:

“We can help expectant fathers learn these parenting skills. Not all parents start out knowing how to do these things, but they can be shown how.”

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