Loving nurturing parenting may imbibe in children the strategies to build and maintain positive, non-violent romantic relationships as young adults.
In a study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, researchers found that young adults who had a positive and healthy upbringing where their parents used more effective parenting strategies grew up to handle relationships better as adults.
Effective parenting strategies like providing reasons for decisions and refraining from harsh punishments gives children better relationship problem-solving skills and less-violent romantic relationships.
Mengya Xia, graduate student in human development and family studies, Penn State, said the results give insight on how early family relationships can have long-term impacts on young adult romantic relationships.
“During adolescence, you’re starting to figure out what you want in a relationship and to form the skills you need to have successful relationships,” Xia said.
“The family relationship is the first intimate relationship of your life, and you apply what you learn to later relationships. It’s also where you may learn how to constructively communicate — or perhaps the inverse, to yell and scream — when you have a disagreement. Those are the skills you learn from the family and you will apply in later relationships.”
Previous research has found that when young adults know how to form and maintain healthy relationships, they tend to go on to be more satisfied with their lives and be better parents.
“Adolescents from families that are less cohesive and more conflictual may be less likely to learn positive-problem solving strategies or engage in family interaction affectionately,” Xia said.
“So in their romantic relationships, they are also less likely to be affectionate and more likely to use destructive strategies when they encounter problems, like violence.”
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