Want your kids to grow up to be loving, committed, happy partners? Well one new study suggests that everything they need to know about being a good spouse begins as early as seventh grade. Well, perhaps the foundation is formed even sooner than that, but new research reported recently by the Association for Psychological Science suggests that children who are thriving in positive home environments as adolescents ultimately have the most satisfying, stable marriages.
Even more intriguing, were the findings by researchers at Michigan State University that suggest that these happily-ever-after outcomes extended to the marital partner of the well-adjusted spouse.
The study involved checking in 17 years later with a group of married adults first assessed as seventh graders. The study found that the adults who had been exposed to positive relationship skills in their home as young teens –relating qualities such as warmth, listening and appropriate assertiveness—reported the most satisfaction in their marriages.
“Perhaps one of the most striking results from this work was that the quality of one marital partner’s family climate during adolescence was associated with marital outcomes for the other partner,” the researchers noted in a press release.