Background: Although long-held wisdom and current research suggests that accepting and supportive family relationships may positively influence adult psychosocial functioning, few studies have prospectively investigated these associations. This study examined whether positive family factors during adolescence are associated with healthy adult functioning.
Method: The 353 participants were part of a single-age cohort whose psychosocial development has been prospectively traced. Two aspects of family functioning – feeling highly valued as a family member and having a family confidant – were measured at age 15. Developmentally-relevant areas of functioning were assessed at age 30.
Results: Both positive family factors were predictive of adaptive adult functioning across several domains, including mental health and social/interpersonal functioning.
Conclusions: Findings provide evidence about the salient relationships between positive family relationships and later healthy functioning.