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How Family History Increases Resiliency

How Family History Increases Resiliency

Resiliency. It is such a great concept in this ever-challenging world. It is an attribute we all want to have. Because we ALL have challenges in life. 

There was an amazing article written for the New York Times by Bruce Feiler in 2013 called "The Family Stories That Bind Us." It is definitely worth the read. Apparently a psychologist named Marshall Duke, at Emory University, performed a study about families. He asked 48 families to answer 20 questions about their family history during the summer of 2001. 

Dr. Duke and his colleague Dr. Fivush were shocked at the results. When comparing the answers to the psychological tests of these children, they found this:

"The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. [These family questions] turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness."

And then, 9/11 happened within two months after the study. All of these families were contacted to see how the kids were dealing with the emotional trauma of such a huge national tragedy. 

“Once again,” Dr. Duke said, “the ones who knew more about their families proved to be more resilient, meaning they could moderate the effects of stress.”

It may seem unbelievable, but by feeling part of something bigger, hearing stories of victories and failures, and participating in traditions, children and adults will have a strong sense of intergenerational self, and will be able to overcome challenges easier

And here's a link to the full New York Times article.

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How Family History Increases Resiliency

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