Babies shown lots of affection by their mothers tend to cope better with stresses and strains as adults. Researchers from Duke University in North Carolina studied 482 people. When they were babies the researchers watched how their mothers treated them and rated them as having low, normal or high levels of affection. The participants were then tracked until they were, on average, 34 and assessed on how they dealt with stress, hostility and anger, sensitivity and anxiety. Those people with mothers who had given them high levels of affection handled all types of distress better and were particularly good at dealing with anxiety. The research fits in with attachment theory in which the quality of the attachment between a child and its primary caregiver (usually its mother) is held to influence its subsequent psychology and relationships with others.
You can find out more about this research by clicking on the link in the title of this post.