Pacifiers linked to stunted emotional growth - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Pacifiers linked to stunted emotional growth

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A new University of Wisconsin study says pacifiers may have emotional consequences for boys.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal "Basic and Applied Social Psychology," says pacifiers may stunt the emotional development of baby boys, because it robs them of the opportunity to try facial expressions during infancy.

This is the first study to associate pacifiers with psychological consequences, so experts say more research is needed to gain a better understanding of other possible factors

"These are correlational studies so we're going to want to keep persisting with this question and looking at the possibility or looking at the actual causal relationship between these two things is it really pacifier that's doing this and if pacifier is doing it how," says UW researcher Paula Niedenthal.

Researchers say humans of all ages often mimic the expressions and body language of the people around them, and that mimicry can be an important learning tool for babies.

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