Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

The way expectant mums and dads role-play parenting with a doll can pre­dict which cou­ples may be headed for con­flicts when their bub ar­rives, ac­cord­ing to a US study in the Jour­nal of Fam­ily Psy­chol­ogy.

Cou­ples were video­taped in the third trimester as they in­ter­acted with a doll that “rep­re­sented their baby”, and again nine months after the birth. The re­sults showed they acted sim­i­larly to­wards each other with the real baby as with the doll, in both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive ways. Re­searchers say a child can suf­fer from co-parenting is­sues, so iden­ti­fy­ing cou­ples who may strug­gle can al­low in­ter­ven­tion as needed.

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