The Importance of Parental Affection


study from Harvard University examined the relationship between parental warmth and the flourishing of children later in life. Parental warmth was defined as the level of love and affection given from parents to their children. The study found that parental warmth increased the likelihood of adult children flourishing emotionally and psychologically. Children with warm parents were more likely to have greater educational attainment, greater household income, and higher occupational class as adults. The study also found that parental warmth in childhood decreases the risk of drug use, smoking and depression.

The study also examined the effects of a mother's warmth versus a father's warmth. Both are important, but they were found to have different effects on a child's life. A child with a warm mother is specifically less likely to be depressed or smoke, whereas a child with a warm father is less likely to engage in substance abuse as an adult.

To read more from the study, click here.