Friendships and family relationships get better with age

Updated: Jun 26, 2010, 12:16 PM IST

Washington: A new study has suggested that family relationships and friendships get better as we grow older.

"Older adults report better marriages, more supportive friendships and less conflict with children and siblings," said Karen Fingerman, the Berner-Hanley Professor in Gerontology, Developmental and Family Studies.

Researchers at Purdue University found that perception of limited time, willingness to forgive, aging stereotypes and attitudes of respect all play a part, but it’s about people interaction too.

The study found that stereotypes establish older people to avoid conflict, be less confrontational, and more cordial and patient.

"People vary their behaviour with social partners depending on their age. When there is a negative interaction, younger people are generally more aggressive and confrontational than older people are. But younger people often are more accommodating to older people when there is a negative interaction," said Fingerman.

She adds that people get better at controlling emotions, as they get older.

Another fact is the perception of limited time. As Fingerman explains, "We’ve also seen this in studies when adult daughters don’t want to confront their elderly mothers or discuss negative things with them because they feel there is little time left with them.”

The article is published in this month’s Current Directions in Psychological Science.

ANI

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