Parental Warmth and Flourishing in Mid-Life
50 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2018
Date Written: September 5, 2018
This study examined the longitudinal association between parental warmth and offspring flourishing in mid-life. We also considered associations between parental warmth and a number of mental health problems and adverse health behavioral outcomes. Longitudinal data from the Midlife in the United States Study (N=3,929, mean baseline age=47.4 years) were analyzed using generalized estimating equations. Parental warmth in childhood was recalled at phase I (1995-1996), while flourishing and other outcomes were self-reported at phase II (2004-2006). Following an approach developed by Corey Keyes, flourishing was operationalized as a combined measure incorporating assessments of three aspects of well-being, including emotional, psychological and social well-being. The results suggest that parental warmth was positively associated with the continuous score of flourishing (B=0.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.18, 0.25). The association was not specific to any particular component (emotional, psychological, or social well-being) or subdomain of flourishing. Parental warmth was also inversely associated with several adverse health behavior outcomes such as drug use and smoking. Parental warmth in childhood may help promote offspring functioning across multiple domains of well-being in mid-life. The findings help to strengthen the call for a public health focus on the importance of parenting for outcomes beyond childhood and well into adulthood, and suggest the value of targeting parenting practices for prevention and intervention strategies to improve population health and well-being.
Keywords: Parental Warmth; Flourishing; Well-Being; Health Assets; Life Course
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation