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Nancy McElwain (left) and Xiaomei Li, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, looked at how toddler-mother attachment impacted adolescents’ ability to gauge trustworthiness in strangers. Credit: Kexin Hu/ University of Illinois

How Toddler-Mother Attachment Impacts Adolescent Brain and Behavior

Interpersonal trust is a crucial component of healthy relationships. When we interact with strangers, we quickly gauge whether we can trust them. And those important social skills may be shaped by our earliest relationship with caregivers.

Adolescents who had an insecure attachment to their mothers as toddlers are more likely to overestimate the trustworthiness of strangers, according to a new study from the University of Illinois that was supported by NIFA.

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