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Friendships and Family Relationships Better With Age

By Suparna Chakaraborthy

We come to this world to interact with various people, have good friends around to share our ups and downs, family to support our basic needs, share love and concern to all. Here is a new study that suggest that family relationships and friendships get better as we grow older.

"Older adults report better marriages, more supportive friendships and less conflict with children and siblings," said Karen Fingerman, the Berner-Hanley Professor in Gerontology, Developmental and Family Studies.

Researchers at Purdue University found that perception of less time, willingness to forgive, ageing stereotypes and attitudes of respect are all part of people's interaction.

The study also found that, stereotypes establish in older people are to avoid conflict, be less confrontational , more cordial and patient.

"People vary their behavior with social partners depending on their age. When there is a negative interaction, younger people are generally more aggressive and confrontational than older people are. But younger people often are more accommodating to older people when there is a negative interaction," said Fingerman.

She adds that people get better at controlling emotions, as they get older.

The other fact is the perception of limited time. As Fingerman explains, "We've also seen this in studies when adult daughters don't want to confront their elderly mothers or discuss negative things with them because they feel there is little time left with them."
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Story first published: Monday, June 28, 2010, 15:55 [IST]
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