A Study was done on 268 Harvard grads over a 75 year period to assess possible predictors of healthy aging. The main result above all else that led to the most fulfillment and satisfaction in life was: warmth of relationships. “Happiness is love. Full Stop.”
“The 75 years and 20 million dollars expended on the Grant study points…to a straight forward 5 word conclusion: Happiness is love. Full stop”
Here are the main findings:
- Alcoholism is a disorder of great destructive power.
- Alcoholism was the main cause of divorce between the Grant Study men and their wives.
- Strongly correlates with neurosis and depression, which tended to follow alcohol abuse, rather than precede it.
- Together with associated cigarette smoking, was the single greatest contributor to their early morbidity and death.
- Financial success depends on warmth of relationships and, above a certain level, not on intelligence.
- Those who scored highest on measurements of “warm relationships” earned an average of $141,000 a year more at their peak salaries (usually between ages 55 and 60).
- No significant difference in maximum income earned by men with IQs in the 110–115 range and men with IQs higher than 150.
- Political mindedness correlates with intimacy: Aging liberals have more sex.
- The most-conservative men ceased sexual relations at an average age of 68.
- The most-liberal men had active sex lives into their 80s.
- The warmth of childhood relationship with mothers matters long into adulthood:
- Men who had “warm” childhood relationships with their mothers earned an average of $87,000 more a 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 with their fathers—were associated with effectiveness at work.
- The warmth of childhood relationships with mothers had no significant bearing on “life satisfaction” at 75.
- The warmth of childhood relationship with fathers correlated with:
- Lower rates of adult anxiety.
- Greater enjoyment of vacations.
- Increased “life satisfaction” at age 75.