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When caring for infants, ‘good enough’ parenting is indeed good enough

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 11:30am

Tending to and having a firm understanding of an infant’s needs may come naturally to some parents, but for others it can pose a constant challenge. Whether you’re striving for perfection or fear you’re not a strong enough caregiver, it turns out that doing a “good enough” job of parenting can still leave a positive imprint on a child. Lehigh University researcher Susan S. Woodhouse says caregivers only need to “get it right” 50 percent of the time when responding to a baby’s need for attachment.

Her study finds securely attached infants are more likely to have better outcomes in childhood and adulthood. Based on Woodhouse’s potentially paradigm-shifting work, there is more than one way to get there, particularly for low socioeconomic-status families.

Research Focus: 
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
Field of Expertise: 
Parenting