DEMANDING parents are worse for health than a nagging husband or wife, a study found.
People who have a strained relationship with their mum, dad, brothers or sisters are more likely to suffer illness decades later.
Researchers were left ‘stunned’ after study results showed demanding parents are worse for people’s health than nagging spouses
Researchers were left ‘stunned’ after study results showed demanding parents are worse for people’s health than nagging spousesCredit: Getty – Contributor
But those who quarrel with their other half do not face an increased risk of poor physical or mental health.
Researchers believe it is because downtrodden lovers can break-up with their partner but are often stuck with blood relatives for life.
It means they face negativity for longer, which can drag them down.
The American boffins quizzed 2,802 volunteers on their relationships with loved ones at the start of the trial and again after 10 and 20 years.
Questioning focused on the criticism and support they received, whether they felt appreciated and how often they rowed.
They also noted the total number of long-term conditions they had and rated their overall health from excellent to poor.
Analysis revealed family relationship strain was linked to a greater number of chronic conditions and worse health a decade later.
But the quality of their relationship with an intimate partner made no difference to health outcomes.
Study leader Dr Sarah Woods, from the University of Texas, said she was “stunned” by the findings.
She added: “We found that family emotional climate had a big effect on overall health, including the development or worsening of chronic conditions such as stroke and headaches over the 20-year span of midlife.
“This is why I encourage patients to bring supportive family members with them to their doctors’ visits and to create an open dialogue about their health conditions and concerns.
“Having that support definitely has a significant effect on quality of life and well-being.”
The findings are published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
Source: the sun
Author: Shaun Wooller