Children who have warm, loving, and supportive relationships with their siblings and parents are likely to have emotionally satisfying and positive intimate relationships in adulthood. According to a new study led by April S. Masarik of the School of Human and Community Development at the University of California, Davis, the success and satisfaction of intimate relationships begins long before children enter adulthood. Masarik followed 265 adolescents throughout their teen years and into young adulthood and assessed their relationships with their parents and other family members. She used this information as a gauge to determine how these relationships influenced their adult intimate relationships later in life. She found that parents who were warm, supporting, and engaged with their children had young adults with happier relationships than did the parents who were distant and harsh. Masarik believes that the positive parenting showed children the importance of making an emotional investment in a relationship. “In turn, these emotional investments were associated with more positive romantic relationship interactions with a partner,” said Masarik.
The participants in this study were mostly heterosexual, Caucasian individuals who grew up in two-parent homes. Because of the diverse nature of home environments and sexual preferences that exist today, Masarik believes that it would be important to conduct similar research on a more demographically diverse sample of participants. She hopes that her findings will impress upon people the importance of pre-marital counseling and marriage therapy. By understanding the nature of the parent-child relationship, clinicians can gain a clearer insight into the factors that may contribute to problems in current intimate relationships. She adds that programs designed to improve parent-child and adolescent relationships should be encouraged as these experiences lay the foundation for all future relationships the child may have. Successful modeling of positive relationships can increase the chances of adults having positive and satisfying romantic relationships, business relationships, and friendships.
Positive family relationships linked to healthy marriages. US Fed News Service, Including US State NewsFeb 09 2013. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 11 Feb. 2013 . http://ez.trlib.info/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ez.trlib.info/docview/1285217386?accountid=1229
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