A Good Relationship With Your Parents Is Good for Your Health

HealthDay News

Childhood mistreatment offsets the advantages of growing up in a well-off home, research shows. A strong and loving bond with parents may help protect kids’ health for decades, a new study suggests.

Explore the positive impact of a strong parent-child relationship on your overall health in this enlightening blog post.
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A well-off home also benefits long-term health, but only if the children also have a warm and healthy relationship with their parents, the Baylor University study found.

“Previous research has associated high socioeconomic status with better childhood nutrition, sleep, neighborhood quality and opportunities for exercise and development of social skills. But good parent-child bonds may be necessary to enforce eating, sleep and activity routines,” researcher Matthew Andersson said in a university news release. Andersson is an assistant professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, in Houston.

In 1995, he asked more than 2,700 adults between the ages of 25 and 75 how their parents had treated them during childhood. Roughly a decade later, almost 1,700 participants completed follow-up surveys, allowing Andersson to examine their health during middle-age.

His conclusion: Childhood abuse or mistreatment offsets the health advantages of growing up in a well-off home.

Health Previous study

The benefit of strong parent-child bonds may also be undermined by low socioeconomic status, the study found. Previous studies indicate that parents with lower education and financial security are more prone to using force or threats, weakening the parent-child bond. The study reveals that mistreated children or those lacking warm relationships with parents have higher rates of inflammation and disease in adulthood. In strained or abusive homes, irregular meal times and unhealthy snacking are common, alongside disrupted sleep and activity schedules, hindering healthy aging habits.

“Much research continues to view socioeconomic status and parent-child bonds as highly related or even interchangeable. But in fact they may quite independently influence a child’s well-being,” Andersson said.

“Socioeconomic advantage during childhood may not sufficiently protect against adult chronic diseases without a strong parent-child relationship,” he emphasized.

The study findings were published Sept. 20 in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

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