What Harvard’s Grant Study Reveals about Happiness and Life

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Shout out to my mom for sending me this one. In 1966, when he was 32, George Vaillant took over Harvard’s famous Grant Study. The task: track hundreds of Harvard men, from youth to death, and determine what predicts wellbeing. Nearly half a century later, Vaillant lays out his final findings, and discovers that his own maturation is inseparable from the lives he examines.

Vaillant concludes that a loving childhood is one of the best predictors of mid and late-life riches: “We found that contentment in the late seventies was not even suggestively associated with parental social class or even the man’s own income. What it was significantly associated with was warmth of childhood environment, and it was very significantly associated with a man’s closeness to his father.”

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