Positive Family Relationship in Teen Years Linked to Positive Marriages in Adulthood

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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A new study suggests a teen’s relationship with their family may determine their relationship patterns as adults.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas found teens who experienced positive relationships with their families were more likely to experience positive marriages in their adult lives.

Not only did these individuals enjoy positive adult relationships, but their spouses were also more likely to positively engage within their marriage.


“Teens who experienced positive relationships with their

families were more likely to experience positive marriages.”

Examining data from individuals participating in the Iowa Youth and Families Project, researchers assessed family interactions when the participants were in the seventh grade.

The interactions were broken into five indicators of positive engagement: listener responsiveness, assertiveness, prosocial behavior, effective communication and warmth support.

Hostility between spouses also tracked considerably lower among couples where at least one of the respondents experienced positive family relationships as a teenager.

“Perhaps one of the most striking results from this work was that the quality of one marital partner’s family climate during adolescence was associated with marital outcomes for the other partner,” researchers said.

Whether individuals who grew up in supportive families learn good habits in their own relationships or unconsciously seek out partners with similarly positive backgrounds was never resolved within this study, though the study’s researchers observed both factors were likely at play within their results.

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