Good partners are usually the good parents

Researchers have found that good partners usually inclined to become the good parents too.

This research has been published online in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Researchers have found that the same skills are needed to become good parent that are used for the partners.

Good partners are usually the good parents

“We wanted to see how romantic relationships between parents might be associated with what kind of parents they are.” Abigail Millings of the University of Bristol, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

This is the first study in which researchers looked at the relationship between parents and with children together.

“Our work is the first to look at romantic caregiving and parenting styles at the same time,” Millings said.

Researchers studied 125 couples with children aged 7 to 8 years and examined the factors such as the parenting styles, “caregiving responsiveness”, which is the “capacity to be ‘tuned in’ to what the other person needs,” according to Millings, and the behavior of couples towards each other.

“In romantic relationships and in parenting, this might mean noticing when the other person has had a bad day, knowing how to cheer them up, and whether they even want cheering up,” she said, adding it’s not “just about picking you up when you’re down, it’s also about being able to respond appropriately to the good stuff in life.”

“If you can do responsive caregiving, it seems that you can do it across different relationships,” Millings added.

“It might be the case that practicing being sensitive and responsive — for example, by really listening and by really thinking about the other person’s perspective — to our partners will also help us to improve these skills with our kids,” she said. “But we need to do more research to see whether the association can actually be used in this way.”


Millings, A., Walsh, J., Hepper, E., & O’Brien, M. (2012). Good Partner, Good Parent: Responsiveness Mediates the Link Between Romantic Attachment and Parenting Style Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin DOI: 10.1177/0146167212468333

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