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What keeps mothers going? Healthy relationships


New York: Mothers spend years supporting and rearing their children. Ever wondered what makes them strong?

Things like unconditional acceptance by friends and authenticity in relationships, say researchers.

These factors play essential role in keeping moms happy, and thus grounded in their tasks with child rearing and development, said researchers from the Arizona State University.

The researchers – professor Suniya Luthar and Lucia Ciciolla – asked more than 2,000 well-educated, upper middle-class mothers what factors helped them cope with motherhood.

Out of a total seven, four factors stood out as main contributors to helping mom’s equanimity of spirit and keeping distress at bay, the researchers said.

They are unconditional acceptance, feeling comforted when needed, authenticity in relationships and friendship satisfaction.

The authors reported that being married, per se, was not related to mothers’ psychological well-being — the quality of the marital relationship was more significant.

“Relationships with spouses are important but clearly not determinative to a mother’s wellbeing,” Luthar said

“Our results yield little support for views that as a group, upper-middle class mothers’ wellbeing is primarily tied to their investment in their children and their roles as parents, and instead, suggest far stronger ramifications for feelings of being personally supported,” she added.

The study was published in the online issue of Developmental Psychology.

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