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For over 70 years, Harvard researchers have been tracking the health and success of a group of men from the class of 1940.
(I’ve posted about this study before here.)
Across the board, men with better relationships are more successful.
The final predictor “Object Relations (age 30-47)” subtracted points for not being married for more than ten years, not having children, being distant from own children, having few friends, no contact with family of origin, no clubs, and no games with others. Although not assessed until age 47, this variable was used because it dramatically predicted future occupational success.
The four measures of warm relationships all strongly correlated with each other. More importantly, these four variables were highly predictive of both income and occupational prestige. Out of the 8 (4 predictors times 2 outcomes of income and occupational success) possible matches, all were significant.
For example, the 58 men with the best scores for “Object Relations” were three times more likely to be in Who’s Who in America and their maximum income—in 1977 dollars—was $81,000 a year. In contrast, the 31 men with the worst “Object Relations” received an average maximum salary of $36,000 a year.
The 41 men with the warmest childhoods earned an average of $81,000 a year. The 84 men with poor childhood relationships reported a maximum earned income of $50,000 a year.
The 12 men with the most mature (empathic) coping style reported an annual income of $123,000 a year; the 16 men with the most immature (narcissistic) coping style reported an income of $53,000 a year.
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