The Infant Study (MILA)
MILA includes around 400 toddlers (born between the years 2011-2013) and their parents. The parents have started their participation already during the pregnancy period by reporting on their expectations from their future child and themselves as future-parents. Now, after birth, they and their children visit us at various ages (9, 18, and 33 months). Through enjoyable tasks, we examine the development of individual differences in temperament, empathy and parent-child interactions during the first 3 years of life. By using methods of molecular genetics, we examine questions about the relation between heredity and environment in the development of parent-child relationships and child development. One of the advantages of this study is our ability to compare between parental expectations before the child was born and what actually happens in reality. This allows us to observe how prenatal beliefs influence family life, but also to observe how these beliefs change once the child enters the picture.
These days, we are about to start a new stage of study, which will examine children’s moral development during the preschool years (age 5). We are especially interested in the contribution of children’s empathy, moral understanding, and values to their prosocial behavior toward others.