What if the happiness of our couple was not just played out now but during our childhood? This is the hypothesis raised by American researchers.
Can we really decide to be happy in the household? It would seem that despite all our efforts, the situation is sometimes already played in advance according to a recent study published in Psychological Science. Indeed, everything would be played during childhood. And to sum up, growing up in a loving and reassuring home would multiply our chances of having a fulfilling romantic relationship once in adulthood and of preserving it even until the end of our days.
This longitudinal study carried out by researchers at Harvard Medical School for six decades revealed that “the influences of experiences lived during our childhood are always present, even when people reach 80 years old, they predict their happiness threshold and they will still be married when they are eighty years old. ” According to researcher Robert Waldinger who said in a statement: “A happy childhood promotes better management of emotions and interpersonal relationships in their forties, and these skills predict the behavior and safety of marriage until the end of life. ”
Happy childhood, happy relationships
Robert Waldinger and Marc Shulz, professors at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, analyzed data from 81 men who participated in a very long study spanning 78 years to study adult development. All participants were interviewed during their adolescence, adulthood, and when they reached 70 to 80 years of age.
The researchers looked at the data collected when participants were adolescents to establish what type of family environment they grew up in.
When the latter was between 45 and 60 years old, they were asked what obstacles they had had to overcome during their life, whether at work, in love or in terms of their health. The researchers then assessed the participants’ ability to manage their emotions in response to these obstacles in life.
The participants were questioned again when they were in their seventies, even octogenarians. The object of this study focused on the bond of attachment to their current partner. They were invited to talk about their marriage and the state of their union with their partner (complicity, support in the couple). These interviews provided data to establish an overall assessment of the feeling of attachment that united the respondents to their partner.
However, the results showed that participants who grew up in a stimulating and fulfilling family environment were more likely to have stable relationships later, partly because they were more able to regulate their emotions when entering the family. quarantine.
This study and the previous one therefore clearly show that the quality of our family environment during childhood can have a real impact “on the well-being, fulfillment and success of a lifelong relationship “, concludes the study.