Parents With Unsuccessful Children More Prone to Depression

Parents of children who are struggling in different areas of their lives, especially with self-made problems such as addiction, divorce, or debt, are much more likely to have a more negative outlook on their own lives, a study shows.
The results of the study, which has been conducted over the last several years, shows that parents are greatly impacted by the lives of their grown children, even if other children are more successful.
“We thought that a successful kid might cancel out the problem kid, but that wasn’t the case. We were a little bit surprised by that,” Karen Fingerman, Ph.D of Purdue University said.

The study was conducted by surveying 600 parents with adult children of various ages. Around 15% had successful children, and 15% said all of their children were struggling from various problems. The rest were made up of a mix, with successful children, or children only recently struggling with an issue.

Those who had one child who was unsuccessful showed severe symptoms of stress, worry and depression, all of which were further amplified if one of the problems was financial.

“Close relationships have a big effect on both psychological and physical well-being,” Fingerman explained.
“Grown kids aren’t just any relationship. People have a very strong investment in their kids, particularly in midlife, when they’ve just finished raising them.”

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