Two powerful studies recently released on the impact of family on your happiness and long term well being.  First was this 75-Year Harvard Study which found that family love, and particularly that from you mother plays the biggest role in your happiness long term.   According to the article, “the warmth of your relationship with Mommy matters long into adulthood.” Specifically:

  • Men who had “warm” childhood relationships with their mothers earned an average of $87,000 more a year than men whose mothers were uncaring.
  • Men who had poor childhood relationships with their mothers were much more likely to develop dementia when old.
  • Late in their professional lives, the men’s boyhood relationships with their mothers—but not with their fathers—were associated with effectiveness at work.
  • On the other hand, warm childhood relations with fathers correlated with lower rates of adult anxiety, greater enjoyment of vacations, and increased “life satisfaction” at age 75—whereas the warmth of childhood relationships with mothers had no significant bearing on life satisfaction at 75.

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/05/thanks-mom/309287/#ixzz2RvW02r8v

Meanwhile, NPR just did an All Things Considered about the influence of older siblings,

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/29/179266284/Big-Siblings-Big-Influence-Some-Behaviors-Run-In-The-Family

Turns out, according to this research older siblings are the most influential compared to all other family members.  “The younger sisters are five times more likely to get pregnant as other young women who have an older sister who hasn’t been pregnant.”  This becomes even more acute in families that are “families that are psychologically and economically unstable.”

To my younger sister: I’m sorry.

To my mother: Thanks a lot.

To my kids: You can blame me.