Researcher Matt Johnson from the University of Alberta, Canada, said that people who have had rocky relations with their parents while growing up, should not let it spill over into their current romantic partnership.
Johnson uncovered a small but important link between parent-adolescent relationship quality and intimate relationships 15 years later.
"The effects can be long-lasting," said Johnson, who co-authored the study.
Johnson reviewed existing data that was gathered in the US over a span of 15 years. The survey-based information was gathered from 2,970 people who were interviewed at three stages of life from adolescence to young adulthood, spanning ages 12 to 32.
While the analysis showed, perhaps not surprisingly, that good parent-teen relationships resulted in slightly higher quality of romantic relationships for those grown children years later, it poses a lesson in self-awareness when nurturing an intimate bond with a partner, Johnson said.
"People tend to compartmentalise their relationships; they tend not to see the connection between one kind, such as family relations, and another, like couple unions," Johnson said.
"But understanding your contribution to the relationship with your parents would be important to recognising any tendency to replicate behaviour - positive or negative - in an intimate relationship," Johnson added.
That doesn't mean parents should be blamed for what might be wrong in a grown child's relationship, Johnson said.
"It is important to recognise everyone has a role to play in creating a healthy relationship, and each person needs to take responsibility for their contribution to that dynamic," he said.
The findings appear in the Journal of Marriage and Family.


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