Happy Mother’s Day – A 75 Year Study on the Impact of Moms

Tom with his mom and dad

Tom with his mom and dad

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12.

Whether your a son or a mom to a son, there’s a fascinating piece in this month’s issue of The Atlantic that describes some surprising results from one of the longest running longitudinal studies of human development.

The project, which began in 1938, has followed 268 Harvard undergraduate men for 75 years, “measuring an astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and personal traits—from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships—in an effort to determine what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.”

Turns out that our relationships with our mothers matter – a lot! Specifically:

  • “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 success at work.”

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and my wife!