English summaries

Marjo Flykt & Sari Ahlqvist-Björkroth

Prenatal representations as predictors of parenting and child development

The parent-child relationship is created already during pregnancy in parental representations of the baby, of oneself and one’s spouse as parents and of the family as a whole. Prenatal representations are known to predict the later parent-child relationship and through that, also different child developmental paths and risks. In this review we present research about the development of maternal and paternal representations as well as their stability into the postnatal period. We also discuss their effects on child development and parenting and the factors affecting the quality of representations. Finally, we discuss various open questions and controversies that still characterize this relatively young field of research.

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