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Love mom today, get romance later.

Teenagers who share a close relationship with their mothers are more likely to enjoy a successful romantic life when they grow up, a new study has claimed.

Researchers at the Montclair State University in New Jersey found that teenagers' bonding with their parents, especially with mothers, influence their romantic life in adulthood.

"Parents' relationships with their children are extremely important and that's how we develop our ability to have successful relationships as adults, our parents are our models," said Constance Gager, who led the study.

"So if kids are not feeling close with their parents then they are probably not going to model the positive aspects of that relationship when they reach adulthood," Gager was quoted as saying by Live Science.

The findings, according to the researchers, highlighted the importance of the parent-child bond for building relationships later in life.

However, they found that the strength of the parent-child connection later in adolescence, after the age of 14, did not seem to influence the children's romantic relationships when they were older.

This might be because late adolescence is too late to have an impact, Gager said.

"Adolescents may be more fully formed by age 14 so that there's not as much effect of their parents' relationship on them."

For their study, Gager and her colleagues analysed the results of a national survey involving nearly 7,000 married couples in the US.

Between 1992 and 1994, the mothers, fathers and children, aged 10 through 17, were asked about their relationships with each other.

About a decade later, between 2001 and 2004, the children, now aged 20 to 27, were surveyed about their relationships with people they were dating (but not living with).

In the first survey, the parents and children were asked to rate statements about the warmth and closeness of their relationships, while in the second one, the grown-up children had to answer questions regarding relationship satisfaction and how much conflict they were having with their dating


Only the mother's description of the relationship with her child was able to predict how well those children got along with their serious boyfriends/girlfriends later.

Specifically, those children with warm and close relationships with their mothers had more satisfaction and less conflict with their significant others, the researchers found.

Although fathers have become more involved in the lives of their children in recent decades, the research suggested that it might not quite be enough to have an effect on the children's adult romantic relationships, Gager said.

She notes that women are still responsible for two-thirds of the household labour and childcare.

"But we hope in the future as men become more involved with their children and things move along to maybe be a little more equal that we'll start to see effects of fathers on their children," she said.

The results were presented recently at the Association for Psychological Science Convention in Boston.

Article appeared on ibnlive

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