It has been said that if you focus on something, you get more of it – for better or for worse. If you focus on what you do not want in a spouse, you will most likely continue to see those things that you do not want. However, if you focus on the things you do want, like love, warmth, and compassion, you may actually start getting those exact things. According to Robert Ackerman of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas, Dallas, clinical research should also focus on positive things in order to encourage more positive behavior.
Ackerman believes that the results of his recent study support this theory. In his study, Ackerman evaluated the relationships of over 260 adults. He looked at how they resolved conflict with their partners; how aggressive, hostile, or compassionate they were; and how prevalent those qualities were in their partners. What was unique about this study was that the participants had been videotaped over a period of 17 years, beginning when they were in middle school. Over that time, Ackerman assessed how well these young people resolved conflict with their parents and what the family and parental climate was in the home. Based on nearly two decades of data, Ackerman discovered that teens that grew up in warm, supportive, and respectful households were more likely to have warm, supportive, and respectful romantic relationships in adulthood.
The findings of this study show that positive communication, open engagement, responsiveness, warmth, and assertiveness all promoted supportive loving interactions during childhood that led to positive adult relationships. Although much research has focused on the negative consequences of hostile, aggressive environments and the deleterious outcomes of children from divorced families or families with a history of abuse, less attention has been given to the many positive exchanges that occur in families. Ackerman said, “I think that studying more positive behaviors is important because it may shed more insight on how to better enhance romantic relationships.” Hopefully this research will set the trend for a new direction in research aimed at improving relationships of all kinds, including intimate, social, professional, and global ones.
(2013). Study finds good marriages more likely for teens of happy homes. University of Texas at Dallas News Center (n.d.): n. pag. Web. http://www.utdallas.edu/news/2013/3/21-22501_Study-Finds-Good-Marriages-More-Likely-for-Teens-o_article-wide.html?WT.mc_id=NewsHomePage
© Copyright 2013 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.