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Good Childhood Environment Leads to Stable Marriage, According to Mental Health Experts

Oct 11, 2016 09:19 AM EDT

Linking children's family environment to their well-being and relationship stability on the last decade of one's life, researchers found proof that association between the two can further explain how and why people end up with a secure and contented late-life relationships.

On a study recently published in the Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, authors Robert J. Waldinger of the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical school and Marc S. Schulz of the Department of psychology, Bryn Mawr College predicted that warm loving families nurture kids who tend to enjoy better married lives even until their 80s.

Using a longitudinal research approach, information gathered across a six-decade range from 81 respondents were analyzed to establish relationships among the variables hypothesized by the authors. Starting from the data collected when the participants were adolescents, a composite measure to properly gauge family environment was created by Waldinger and Schulz. During the mid-40s until 50s of the participants, interviews in line with the previously provided information, including challenges encountered in various aspects of their lives, were completed.

The information from the second leg of data gathering provided a basis for estimating the emotional stability and mood management of the interviewees. At the late 70s to 80s of the participants, the research team provided a semi-structured interview to highlight their attachments with their life partners, including means of covering the relationship security towards their better halves.

Their analysis has then provided that those who grew up from a nurturing and loving family had higher chances of ending up with better, contented and secured married lives. Waldinger has also highlighted that a child's environment have "far-reaching effects on wellbeing, life achievement, and relationship functioning throughout the lifespan."

"With all the things that happen to human beings and influence them between adolescence and the ninth decade of life, it's remarkable that the influence of childhood on late-life marriage can still be seen," Schulz mentioned in a press release.

Several theories in environmental psychology support the basis of the study's concept. For instance, Lewin's Concept of Behavior (1937) as a function of personality and environment explores the complexity of interactions between influences of one's surrounding with his or her characteristics that together shapes behavior. Following the similar concept, the Principle of Situational Factors by Hines (1986) also recognizes the role of the environment and other influential factors to build up one's behavioral conditions.

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