Older adults enjoy better relationships with family, friends, article finds

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Say what you will about youth today, but a new article finds that people of all ages are willing to forgive and respect their elders. 

Older adults typically report improved relationships, such as better marriages, more supportive friendships and less conflict with siblings and family members, according to Purdue University researchers. The researchers explore the reasons for these improvements in their new article. As people age, they become better at regulating their emotions when something upsets them, typically making elderly individuals less confrontational than younger people, according to the report. There is also a perception that older people have less time in a relationship, and therefore wish to make that remaining time as pleasant as possible.

The perception of limited time, willingness to forgive, aging stereotypes and attitudes of respect are all factors in the treatment of the elderly. Still, it's about more than just how the young treat the old, it's about how all people interact, according to report author Karen Fingerman, professor of Gerontology, Developmental and Family Studies. The full article is available in this month's Current Directions in Psychological Science.

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