Researchers at Ohio State University looked at how dual earning couples adjust to becoming parents for the first time.

“The extent to which couples support or undermine each other's interactions with the doll predicts their co-parenting behaviour a year later,” said Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, co-author of the study and professor of human sciences at the Ohio State University.

For the study, 182 couples were videotaped in the third trimester of pregnancy during their play with a doll that they were told represented the baby they were about to have.

The couples were videotaped again nine months after the birth of their baby to see how they actually played together.

“We saw the same kinds of behaviours between parents when they were interacting with their baby that we saw a year earlier with the doll," Schoppe-Sullivan concluded.

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