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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  • Maria

    I completely agree that good partners make the best parents. Observation and behaviorism plays a big role in parenting. If the relationship is well between the parents, the child will observe the way they respond and act with one another and will behave as the parents do. Putting this positive image of a healthy relationship infront of your child as they grow up is great because the child will catch on to that and possibly do the same when he grows up. When the parents are good partners, it makes the child happier and will teach him/her how to act.

  • Brenda

    I think they should do more studies to see the validity of the relationship in partners and parents. I think there is some truth to their findings. I think that if someone who is caring and loving to their significant other than they are likely to show the same compassion to their children. However, I have known some people who were horrible husbands/wives but were amazing parents to their children. So the theory may only be a “sometimes” kind of thing, or only work one way.