Researchers in the US have found a link between happy childhoods and firmer marriages in adult life.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania analysed data from a multi-decade study on the life experiences of 81 men. The participants completed regular interviews and questionnaires on events in their lives.
Those men who enjoyed an untroubled home life as children were less likely to divorce as adults the academics concluded, suggesting that such individuals had better social skills and greater control over their emotions.
Co-author Marc Schulz is a Professor at Bryn Mawr. He said data showed the lasting influence of childhood experiences on the psychology of adults.
“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.”
This applies even to the elderly, added his colleague Robert Waldinger.
“Our study shows that the influences of childhood experiences can be demonstrated even when people reach their 80s, predicting how happy and secure they are in their marriages as octogenarians.”
The study was published in the academic journal Psychological Science.