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Children who have strong family relationships have a higher chance of succeeding in life.
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Children who have strong family relationships have a higher chance of succeeding in life.

Numerous studies have shown strong family bonds can reduce the likelihood of poor outcomes for children, such as drug abuse and risky behavior. However, this study showed that there may be positive outcomes, according to Dr. Robert Whitaker. He is the director of Columbia-Bassett research program at Columbia University.

Whitaker stated, “What was different in this study was that it showed that family connections are associated with thriving and non just surviving or avoiding damage.”

Researchers surveyed more than 37,000 children across 26 countries. They found that adolescents who reported a strong bond with their families also reported success in life.

The study was published by the Journal PediatricsThe children aged 11-13 years were included in the study, which was conducted between 2016 and 2019.
The data was collected from across Europe, Africa and South America. International Survey of Children’s Well-BeingA survey supported and conducted by the Jacobs Foundation, a Zurich-based organisation that provides science-based knowledge to schools worldwide in order to help them succeed.

The five categories of care, support safety respect and participation were used to determine family connection. Participants were given a statement to read and were asked to score how strongly they agreed with it. The scores ranged from zero (does not agree), to four (strongly disagree). To measure care, children were asked how agree they were with the statement “I feel safe at my home” to determine how much.

Whitaker stated that the essence of family connection is children feeling loved and supported at home. This allows them to discover their strengths and weaknesses in a safe environment while they build their identity.

The six categories that made up the mean score for Flourishing were: self-acceptance and purpose in life, positive relationships with others, personal growth, environmental mastery, autonomy, and self-acceptance. The survey structure was the exact same as This is for Family connections, except for the ranking system which ranged between zero and 10.

He said that flourishing is about children accepting their weaknesses and being able then to use their strengths to find their purpose.

Children can thrive and not just survive

According to the study, children with the highest level of family connections were 49% more likely than those with the lowest.

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It doesn’t suffice to be free from depression and anxiety to live a happy, fulfilling life, says Elaine Reese who is a professor of psychology at University of Otago in Dunedin. She was not part of the study.

She said that a good life is one that has meaning and purpose.

Children who say they live with both their parents, have enough food, or don’t worry about money have the highest scores in family connection and flourishing.

To remove any possible effect they might have had on the numbers, researchers then examined the data regarding families’ poverty levels. This included their financial situation and food insecurity. These factors were removed, but the strength of family relationships still had an impact on how children thrived.

How to strengthen family connections

Whitaker says that adults have a huge influence on the emotional climate within a home. Therefore, it is important to create a space where children feel heard and seen.

He stated that the dinner table is a great way to strengthen family bonds. Adults should provide a safe environment for children to express themselves freely. Whitaker stated that while children talk, adults should show genuine interest in their children’s thoughts and try to not judge.

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Reese stated that adults don’t need to make extravagant gestures to bond to their children. She said that having meaningful conversations with your children is more important than going on expensive trips.

He said that silence is another powerful form of communication.

Whitaker believes that parents and children can make a connection by spending time together, whether they are doing chores or running an errand.

He stated, “We don’t necessarily need to fill these moments with chatter and the radio,”

Children’s growth may be affected by other adults

Whitaker stated that he plans to continue researching the effects of teachers and other community members on children in the future.

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“We suspect that the sense of connection to nonparental” He stated in an email that adults are likely to increase the likelihood that a teen will succeed.”

Kelly-Ann Allen is an educational and developmental psychologist, senior lecturer at Monash University and a senior lecturer in the field of child psychology. She was not involved in this study.

She said that children who have established trusting relationships with their parents early on are more likely to continue these relationships as adults.

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