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75 Years In The Making: Harvard Just Released Its Epic Study On Wha...


"In 1938 Harvard University began following 268 male undergraduate students and kicked off the longest-running longitudinal studies of human development in history.  The study’s goal was to determine as best as possible what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.  The astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits — ranging from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to “hanging length of his scrotum” — indicates just how exhaustive and quantifiable the research data has become.  Recently, George Vaillant, who directed the study for more than three decades, published the study’s findings in the 2012 book Triumphs of Experience "

"“the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken offers some welcome news for the new old age...George Vaillant follows the men into their nineties, documenting for the first time what it is like to flourish far beyond conventional retirement."  

75 Years In The Making: Harvard Just Released Its Epic Study On Wha...



*our lives continue to evolve in our later years, and often become more fulfilling than before.  

*people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife, and vice versa.  

*memories of a happy childhood are a lifelong source of strength.  

*Marriages bring much more contentment after age 70, *physical aging after 80 is determined less by heredity than by habits formed prior to age 50.  

*The credit for growing old with grace and vitality goes more to ourselves than to our stellar genetic makeup.”

*the most significant finding of all is that “Alcoholism is a disorder of great destructive power.”  In fact, alcoholism is the single strongest cause of divorce between the Grant Study men and their wives.  

*Alcoholism was also found to be strongly coupled with neurosis and depression (which most often follows alcohol abuse, rather than preceding it).  

*Together with cigarette smoking, alcoholism proves to be the #1 greatest cause of morbidity and death.  

*above a certain level, intelligence doesn’t prevent the damage.

*With regards to income, there was no noticeable difference in maximum income earned by men with IQs in the 110-115 range vs. men with IQs above 150.  

*With regards to sex lives, one of the most fascinating discoveries is that aging liberals have way more sex.

 *the most conservative men on average shut down their sex lives around age 68, while the most liberal men had healthy sex lives well into their 80s

*there is the powerful correlation between the warmth of your relationships and your health and happiness in your later years. 

*the 58 men who scored highest on the measurements of “warm relationships” (WR) earned an average of $141,000 a year more during their peak salaries (between ages 55-60) than the 31 men who scored the lowest in WR.  

*The high WR scorers were also 3-times more likely to have professional success worthy of inclusion in Who’s Who.

*One of the most intriguing discoveries of the Grant Study was how significant men’s relationships with their mothers are in determining their well-being in life.  

*Men who had ‘warm’ childhood relationships with their mothers took home $87,000 more per 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 their fathers, were associated with effectiveness at work.

“warm childhood relations with fathers correlated with lower rates of adult anxiety, greater enjoyment on vacations, and increased ‘life satisfaction’ at age 75.

*warmth of childhood relationships with mothers had no significant bearing on life satisfaction at 75.”  

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Replies to This Discussion

I'm 35 and I'm already looking down the road.

The correlations between 'warmth' of relationships and various successes is very fascinating.  Be good parents and find a good spouse!

Yes, it is really important to create a healthy marriage or relationship before bringing children into a home. Then have healthy parenting skills. Life can be very good. 



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