How warm you are with your children now could impact them later in life, according to Harvard study
SALT LAKE CITY — Talk to an adult in midlife who seems to be doing really well, and there’s a very good chance that individual will recall growing up with parents who were nurturing and affectionate, the parent-child relationship a warm one.
That’s according to a new study from the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Research scientist Ying Chen and epidemiology professor Tyler VanderWeele, as well as co-author Laura D. Kubzansky in Harvard’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, used an online survey that gathered information from a large cohort of people over time to determined the degree of parental warmth with which they grew up.
Aaron Thorup, Harvard
Warmth was measured not just by affection, but also nurturing, teaching and communication. For example, the survey’s six questions included “How much time and attention did your mother and father give you when you needed it?” “How much did your mother and father understand your problems and worries?” and “How much did your mother and father teach you about life?”
Among those who reported growing up with parental warmth, the study found higher levels of well-being across social, emotional and psychological dimensions, Chen said. The findings are published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
Harvard noted that previous research has looked at parental warmth against the backdrop of individual well-being indicators, like whether it impacted physical or psychological health. The new research is designed to take a more holistic look at the impact of warmth across different dimensions.
Chen told the Deseret News that research often tries to identify risk factors for bad outcomes, instead of the factors that can lead to health and well-being later in life.
“Although there were positive effects of parental warmth on almost all aspects of flourishing later in life, the …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Top stories