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Stormy parent-teen relationship can cause rocky road for adult love life

sex-and-relationships Updated: Feb 08, 2014 20:17 IST

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If you’re dissatisfied in your romantic relationship or experiencing marital problems, you might find the root of your problem in the relationship you had with your parents as a teen.

According to a recently published study out of the University of Alberta, researchers found a link between the quality of intimate adult relationships and a person’s parent-adolescent relationship.

And according to lead researcher Matt Johnson, being aware of this connection could spare adults heartache down the road.

"People tend to compartmentalize their relationships; they tend not to see the connection between one kind, such as family relations, and another, like couple unions," he said in a statement.

"But understanding your contribution to the relationship with your parents would be important to recognizing any tendency to replicate behaviour -- positive or negative -- in an intimate relationship."

For the study, researchers examined the love lives of 2,970 adults who were asked to answer a series of questions that measured the quality of the relationship to their parents when they were teens.

Respondents were also instructed to fill out questionnaires that assessed levels of their self-esteem, depression and the quality of their current romantic relationship.

The results indicated that higher parent-teen relations predicted higher levels of self-esteem, lower rates of depression and a higher quality of intimate relationships as adults, and vice versa.

The findings were published in the February issue of Journal of Marriage and Family.