Navigation Links
Childhood Friendships May Be Key to Adult Happiness
Date:8/10/2012

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Happiness in adulthood may be determined by the quality of relationships in your youth, not brain power or academic prowess, new Australian research suggests.

"This shows that there is an enduring, significant relationship between being well-adjusted as a child and being well-adjusted as an adult," said Dr. Victor Fornari, director of child/adolescent psychiatry at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "[And] academic adjustment per se is not sufficient to lead to well-being."

Learning the secrets of "the good life" has guided human endeavors for millennia. But according to study author Craig Olsson, an associate professor in developmental psychology at Deakin University and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, neither material wealth nor academic achievement has been strongly linked to happiness.

Instead of focusing on either of these factors, Olsson and his colleagues decided to look at "sense of coherence, connection, positive coping and prosocial values."

"Coherence" included whether the child felt his or her life was meaningful and manageable; social involvement looked at participation in organized activities such as sports groups; coping strategies included using emotional support; and prosocial behavior included whether the person felt he or she was trustworthy, kind and reliable.

A person scoring high in all these areas would be "someone less obsessed by how they feel and what they can obtain, and more interested in how they live and the values they use to guide their interactions with themselves, others and the world," Olsson explained.

Those traits were associated with greater happiness in adulthood, according to the study, which followed more than 800 New Zealanders for 32 years, starting at 3 years of age. The results were published online July 25 in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Early language development and adolescent academic achievement only had a weak association with well-being, the researchers found.

Using parent and teacher ratings, the researchers defined social connectedness in childhood as being liked, not isolated and confident.

For teenagers, social connectedness was measured by attachments to parents, peers, school and a close friend, in addition to participation in youth groups and recreational clubs.

To boost social connectedness, the authors envision developing "a broad-based social curriculum that could parallel the academic curriculum and nurture the development of positive values systems across the early developmental years," said Olsson, who has been involved with the study since 2008.

"The social environment provides critical learning opportunities for children and young people to explore, test and consolidate values such as kindness, trust, loyalty, care, etcetera, which are the 'glue' of enduring positive relationships across the life course," he added.

The findings aren't a surprise, some experts say.

"It is one of the basic precepts of our understanding of one's psychological makeup: That what we do as adults and how we approach life has been established in our childhood. If we had a healthy happy childhood, we are more likely to recreate those patterns as adults," said Alan Hilfer, director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City.

"However, a happy childhood does not guarantee success if success is defined as career achievement," Hilfer said. "For that, a person must have the appropriate skills set or talent to succeed in their chosen profession. A person can be successful and not be happy, and a person can be happy and not considered a financial or career success story."

More information

The American Psychological Association has more on emotional health and happiness.

SOURCES: Craig Olsson, Ph.D., associate professor, developmental psychology, Deakin University and Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia; Victor Fornari, M.D., director, child/adolescent psychiatry, North Shore-LIJ Health System, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Alan Hilfer, Ph.D., director, psychology, Maimoides Medical Center, New York City; July 25, 2012, online, Journal of Happiness Studies


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New study identifies promising, achievable solutions to Nigerias childhood mortality crisis
2. Symptomatic behaviour in childhood strongly predicts psychiatric treatment as a young adult
3. Study identifies potential treatment for lethal childhood leukemia
4. Childhood Obesity May Raise Odds of Adult Liver Cancer
5. IADR/AADR publish studies on severe early childhood caries - proposes new classification
6. Could the Childhood Obesity Epidemic Be Ebbing?
7. Better health in adulthood starts with early prevention in childhood
8. Environment key to preventing childhood disabilities
9. Treating childhood obesity: A family affair
10. Pneumonia and preterm birth complications are the leading causes of childhood death
11. Experimental Drug Helps Fight Some Childhood Cancers, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Childhood Friendships May Be Key to Adult Happiness
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the ... In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, ... just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys are ... for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing within ... of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. Bloom, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of ... Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and ... other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets ... Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and ... dumb structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory ... testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in ... Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are no longer ... to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. ... testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: