Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Happiness is love. Full stop."

The Grant Study began in 1938.. It was ongoing for 75 years and cost $20 million. It was part of a larger project The Study of Adult Development. Essentially the study tracked the lives of some 268 Harvard graduates and  "332 disadvantaged non-delinquent inner-city youths who grew up in Boston neighborhoods."  As an aside, Wikipedia informs us that among the Harvard group was a future president, John F. Kennedy. [Be advised that as of today the last update on Wikipedia was November 29, 2012.] The study was finally concluded and George Vaillant, the last director published a book summing  up and elaborating on the findings, Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study (2012). 

Scott Stossel, revisits the study's results in The Atlantic Monthly's, May 2013 issue.


  • 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.
Thank You, Mommie Dearest

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