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:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many ... event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids ... of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the ... “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain ... As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... CITY, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... cold therapy products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the ... multipurpose pad so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader ... a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were ... 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... property taxes a year. In some states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, ... many overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes to the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , an ... solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & ... NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract ... to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, ... complete response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug ... approval of sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to ... indicates additional clinical data are needed to further evaluate ... to severely active RA. ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... -- AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that its CE-Marked AVACEN ... with the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia in the ... Essex, England commented, "I had difficulty ... sleep at all, tremendous pain, with every movement sending ... AVACEN 100] enough, how this has and is helping ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: