Link to the article in English:

The objective of this study was to examine how relational withdrawal in infants aged 12 months could predict emotional and behavioral problems at ages 3 and 5 years. The sample included 1,586 infants from the French Eden Mother-Child Cohort Study, who were assessed for relational withdrawal at the age of one with the Alarm Distress BaBy (ADBB) scale. Among these children, emotional and behavioral difficulties were rated by mothers using the Strength and Difficulty Questionnaire (SDQ) at 3 years for 1,257 children (79%) and at 5 years for 1,123 children (72%).

Relational withdrawal at the age of one was significantly associated with behavioral disorders at 3 years, independently of numerous familial factors and the child’s temperament. The association with relational disorder, prosocial difficulty, and total difficulty scales was close to significance at 3 years, after taking into account familial and temperament confounders. Relational withdrawal significantly predicted these three scales when measured at 5 years. No significant predictivity of the emotional scale and hyperactivity scale was detected at any age.

This study, conducted with a large longitudinal sample, confirms the negative effects of relational withdrawal on development, shedding light on the unfolding of behavioral disorders and relational difficulties in children. This calls for early detection of sustained relational withdrawal behavior, as it seems to hamper emotional development.

My opinion as an expert on the subject:
This study underscores the crucial importance of early detection and intervention in the field of relational withdrawal in children. As a clinician and expert in this field, I see in these results a confirmation of what we observe in clinical practice. Relational withdrawal is not an isolated symptom, but an indicator of potential emotional and behavioral problems that can develop over time. This research strengthens our understanding of how these dynamics unfold and emphasizes the importance of early and targeted intervention to support the healthy development of the child.