In 1938 Harvard University embarked on what would become the longest study of adult development. The study involved 724 men who were split into two groups:
- 268 sophomore students from Harvard University and
- 456 sixteen year olds from the most disadvantaged areas in Boston
There have been 4 directors at Harvard who have continued this study. Sixty of the 724 subjects are still alive. Four conclusions have been made about happiness:
- Loneliness Kills – People with little to no relationships are unhappy, less healthy and do not live long lives.
- Toxic Relationships Kill – Relationships with individuals who have problems and bring conflict and stress into our lives cause unhappiness, poor health and reduced longevity.
- Rich Relationships Improve Life – Relationships with individuals who lift us up and improve our lives make us happier, healthier and live longer.
- The Stronger and More Rich Relationships You Have, the Better – Strong Rich Relationships increase brain function, health and longevity.